Check out our findings regarding planetary dynamo action, rotating convection and magnetoconvection, zonal jet flows and turbulent heat transfer.


Abbate, J.A., and Aurnou, J.M., 2023, Rotating convective turbulence in moderate to high Prandtl number fluids, Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics,

Xu, Y., Horn, S., and Aurnou, J.M., 2023, Transition from wall modes to multimodality in liquid gallium magnetoconvection, Physical Review Fluids 8, 103503,

Moscoso, J., Tripoli, R., Chen., S., Church, W., Gonzalez, H., Hill, S., Khoo, N., Lonner, T., and Aurnou, J., 2023, Low-cost table-top experiments for teaching multi-scale geophysical fluid dynamics, Frontiers in Marine Science, 10:1192056, doi: 10.3389/fmars.2023.1192056.  Supplementary Data Files: Data Sheet 1, Data Sheet 2, Data Sheet 3-reduced, Data Sheet 4.  Supplementary Movies: Movie1, Movie2, Movie3, Movie4.

Hawkins, E., Cheng, J., Abbate, J., Pilegard, T., Stellmach, S., Julien, K., and Aurnou, J., 2023, Laboratory models of planetary core-style convective turbulence, Fluids,

Gastine, T., and Aurnou, J.M., 2023, Latitudinal regionalization of rotating spherical shell convection, Journal of Fluid Mechanics,

Barik, A., Triana, S.A., Calkins, M.A., Stanley, S., and Aurnou, J.M., 2022, Onset of convection in rotating spherical shells: Variations with radius ratio, Earth and Space Science, 10.1029/2022EA002606.

Lonner, T.L., Aggarwal, A., and Aurnou, J.M., 2022, Planetary core-style rotating convective flows in paraboloidal laboratory experiments, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 127, e2022JE007356,  Supplemental Movie1, Movie2Movie3.

Aggarwal, A., Aurnou, J.M., and Horn, S., 2022, Magnetic damping of jet flows in quasi-two-dimensional Rayleigh-Bénard convection, Physical Review E, 106, 045104,

Horn, S., and Aurnou, J.M., 2022, The Elbert range of magnetostrophic convection. I. Linear theory, Proceedings of the Royal Society A, 478, 20220313,; Supplementary Jupyter Notebook.

Grannan, A.M., Cheng, J.S., Aggarwal, A., Hawkins, E.H., Xu, Y., Horn, S., Sanchez-Alvarez, J. and Aurnou, J.M., 2022, Experimental pub crawl from Rayleigh-Benard to magnetostrophic convection, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 939, R1,  (Associated Focus on Fluids by J. Schumacher.)

Heimpel, M.H., Yadav, R.K., Featherstone, N.A., and Aurnou, J.M., 2022, Polar and mid-latitude vortices and zonal flows on Jupiter and Saturn, Icarus,

Xu, Y., Horn, S., and Aurnou, J.M., 2022, Thermoelectric precession in turbulent magnetoconvection, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 930, A8,

Horn, S., Schmid, P.J., and Aurnou, J.M., 2022, Unravelling the large-scale circulation modes in turbulent Rayleigh–Bénard convection, Europhysics Letters,

Horn, S., and Aurnou, J.M., 2021, Tornado-like vortices in the quasi-cyclostrophic regime of Coriolis-centrifugal convection, Journal of Turbulence,

Vogt, T., Horn, S., and Aurnou, J.M., 2021, Oscillatory thermal-inertial flows in liquid metal rotating convection, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 911, A5,

Aurnou, J.M., Horn, S., and Julien, K., 2020, Connections between non-rotating, slowly rotating, and rapidly rotating turbulent convection transport scalings, Physical Review Research, 2: 043115,


Mound, J., Davies, C.J., Rost, S., and Aurnou, J.M., 2019, Regional stratification at the top of Earth’s core due to core–mantle boundary heat flux variations, Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/s41561-019-0381-z,

Horn, S., and Aurnou, J.M., 2019, Rotating convection with centrifugal buoyancy: Numerical predictions for laboratory experiments, Phys. Rev. Fluids 4: 073501, 10.1103/PhysRevFluids.4.073501.

Cao, H., Yadav, R.K., and Aurnou, J.M., 2018, Geomagnetic polar minima do not arise from steady axisymmetric circulation, PNAS,

Horn, S., and Aurnou, J.M., 2018, Regimes of Coriolis-centrifugal convection, PRL: 120, 204502.

Hill, S.A., Lora, J.M., Khoo, N., Faulk, S.P., and Aurnou, J.M., 2018, Affordable rotating fluid demonstrations for geoscience education: The DIYnamics project, BAMS:

Cheng, J.S., Aurnou, J.M., Julien, K., and Kunnen, R.P.J., 2018, A heuristic framework for next-generation models of geostrophic convective turbulence, GAFD:

Vogt, T., Horn, S., Grannan, A.M., and Aurnou, J.M., 2018, Jump rope vortex in liquid metal convection, PNAS,

Aurnou, J.M., Bertin, V., Grannan, A.M., Horn, S., and Vogt, T., 2018, Rotating thermal convection in liquid gallium: multi-modal flow, absent steady columns, JFM: 846, 846-876, doi:10.1017/jfm.2018.292.

Horn, S. and Schmid, P.J., 2017, Prograde, retrograde, and oscillatory modes in rotating Rayleigh–Bénard convection, JFM: 831, 182-211, doi:10.1017/jfm.2017.631.

Lemasquerier, D., Grannan, A.M., Vidal, J., Cébron, D., Favier, B., Le Bars, M., and Aurnou, J.M., 2017, Libration-driven flow in ellipsoidal shells, JGR Planets: 122, doi:10.1002/2017JE005340.

Aurnou, J.M., and King, E.M., 2017, The cross-over to magnetostrophic convection in planetary dynamo systems, PRSA: 473, 20160731, doi: 10.1098/rspa.2016.0731.

Grannan, A.M., Favier, B., Le Bars, M., Aurnou, J.M., 2017, Tidally forced turbulence in planetary interiors, GJI: 208, 1690 – 1703, doi:10.1093/gji/ggw479.

Cabanes, S., Aurnou, J.M., Favier, B., Le Bars, M., 2017, A laboratory model for deep seated jets on the gas giants, Nature Physics, 10.1038/NPHYS4001.

Julien, K., Aurnou, J.M., Calkins, M.A., Knobloch, E., Marti, P., Stellmach, S., Vasil, G.M., 2016, A nonlinear model for rotationally constrained convection with Ekman pumping, JFM 798: 50–87, 10.1017/jfm.2016.225.

Matsui, H., and 36 co-authors, 2016, Performance benchmarks for a next generation numerical dynamo model, Gcubed, 10.1002/2015GC006159.

Calkins, M.A., Julien, K., Tobias, S.M., Aurnou, J.M., Marti, P., 2016, Convection-driven kinematic dynamos at low Rossby and magnetic Prandtl numbers: Single mode solutions, PRE 93: 023115

Cheng, J.S., Aurnou, J.M., 2016, Tests of diffusion-free scaling behaviors in numerical dynamo datasets, EPSL 436: 121-129

Aurnou, J.M., Calkins, M.A., Cheng, J.S., Julien, K., King, E.M., Nieves, D., Soderlund, K.M., Stellmach, S., 2015, Rotating convective turbulence in Earth and planetary cores, PEPI 246: 52-71

Calkins, M.A., Julien, K., Tobias, S.M., Aurnou, J.M., 2015, A multi-scale dynamo model driven by quasi-geostrophic convection, JFM 780: 143-166

Gastine, T., Wicht, J., Aurnou, J.M., 2015, Turbulent Rayleigh-Benard convection in spherical shells, JFM 778: 721-764

Soderlund, K.M., Sheyko, A., King, E.M., Aurnou, J.M., 2015, The competition between Lorentz and Coriolis forces in planetary dynamics, PEPS 2(24)

Favier, B., Grannan, A.M., Le Bars, M., Aurnou, J.M., 2015, Generation and maintenance of bulk turbulence by libration-driven elliptical instability, Phys. Fluids 27: 066601

Le Bars, M., Lecoanet, D., Perrard, S., Ribeiro, A., Rodet, L., Aurnou, J.M., Le Gal, P., 2015, Experimental study of internal wave generation by convection in water, Fluid Dyn. Res. 47: 045502

King, E., Aurnou, J., 2015, Magnetostrophic Balance as the Optimal State for Turbulent Magnetoconvection, PNAS 112: 990-994

Cheng, J.S., Stellmach, S., Ribeiro, A., Grannan, A., King, E. M., Aurnou, J. M., 2015, Labratory-Numerical Models of Rapidly Rotating Convection in Planetary Cores, Geophys. J. Int. 201: 1-17

Grannan, A. M., Le Bars, M., Cebron, D., Aurnou, J. M., 2014, Experimental Study of Global-Scale Turbulence in a Librating Ellipsoid, Physics of Fluids 26: 126601

Stellmach, S., Lischper, M., Julien, K., Vasil, G., Cheng, J.S., Ribeiro, A., King, E.M., Aurnou, J.M., 2014, Approaching the Asymptotic Regime of Rapidly Rotating Convection: Boundary Layers versus Interior Dynamics, Physical Review Letters 113, 254501.

Cao, H., Aurnou, J.M., Wicht, J., Dietrich, W., Soderlund, K.M., Russell, C.T., 2014, A dynamo explanation for Mercury’s anomalous magnetic field, Geophysical Research Letters 10.1002/2014GL060196.

Wacheul, J.B., Le Bars, M., Monteux, J., Aurnou, J.M., 2014, Laboratory experiments on the breakup of liquid metal diapirs, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 403, 236-245.

King, E.M., Aurnou, J.M., 2013, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, Turbulent convection in liquid metal with and without rotation, 110: 6688-6693.

Soderlund, K. M., Heimpel, M. H., King, E. M., Aurnou, J.M., 2013, Turbulent models of ice giant internal dynamics: Dynamos, heat transfer, and zonal flows, Icarus 224: 97-113.

Zhang, K., Chan, K.H., Liao, X., Aurnou, J.M., 2013, The non-resonant response of fluid in a rapidly rotating sphere undergoing longitudinal libration, J. Fluid Mech. 720: 212-235.

Gastine, T., Wicht, J., Aurnou, J., 2013, Zonal flow regimes in rotating anelastic spherical shells: An application to giant planets, Icarus 225 (2013) 156–172.

Calkins, M.A., Noir, J., Eldredge, J.D., Aurnou, J.M., 2012, The effects of boundary topography on convection in Earth’s core, Geophys. J. Int. 189: 799-814.

Christophe, B., Spilker, L.J., Anderson, J.D., et al., 2012, OSS (Outer Solar System): a fundamental and planetary physics mission to Neptune, Triton and the Kuiper Belt, Experimental Astronomy 34(2): 203-242.

King, E.M. Stellmach, S., Aurnou, J.M., 2012, Heat transfer by rapidly rotating Rayleigh-Benard convection, J. Fluid Mech. 691: 568-582.

King, E.M., Aurnou, J.M., 2012, Thermal evidence for Taylor columns in turbulent rotating Rayleigh-Benard convection, Phys. Rev. E 85: 016313.

Noir, J., Cebron, D., Le Bars, M., Sauret, A., Aurnou, J.M., 2012, Experimental study of libration-driven zonal flows in non-axisymmetric containers, Phys. Earth Planet. Inter. 204: 1-10.

Roberts, P.H., Aurnou, J.M., 2012, On the theory of core-mantle coupling, Geophys. Astrophys. Fluid Dyn. 106: 157-230.

Soderlund, K.M., King, E.M., Aurnou, J.M., 2012, The influence of magnetic fields in planetary dynamo models, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 333: 9-20.

Heimpel, M., Aurnou, J., 2012, Convective bursts and the coupling of Saturn’s equatorial storms and interior rotation, The Astrophysical Journal, 746:51 (14pp).

Cebron, D., Le Bars, M., Noir, J., Aurnou, J. 2012, Libration driven elliptical instability. Physics of Fluids, 24, 061703.

Calkins, M., Aurnou, J., Eldredge, J., Julien, K., 2012, The influence of fluid properties on the morphology of core turbulence and the geomagnetic field. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 359-360, 55–60.

Aurnou, J., Aubert, J., 2011, End-member models of boundary-modulated convective dynamos. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 187 353–363.

Aurnou, J.M., Turntable Recipes (an informal write-up), EYU 2011.

Roberts, P.H., and Aurnou, J.M., Core-Mantle Coupling, Encyclopedia of Solid Earth Geophysics, Ed. Harsh Gupta, Springer Press, New York, pp. 64-78, 2011.

Noir, J., Calkins, M.A., Lasbleis, M., Cantwell, J., and Aurnou, J.M., 2010, Experimental study of libration-driven zonal flow in a straight cylinder, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 182: 98-106.

Calkins, M.A., Noir, J., Eldredge, J.D., and Aurnou, J.M., 2010, Axisymmetric simulations of libration-driven fluid dynamics in a spherical shell geometry, Physics of Fluids 22, 086602.

King, E.M., Soderlund, K.M., Christensen, U.R., Wicht, J., and Aurnou, J.M., 2010, Convective heat transfer in planetary dynamo models, Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems 11, doi:10.1029/2010GC003053.


Noir, J., Hemmerlin, F., Wicht, J., Baca, S.M., and Aurnou, J.M., 2009, An experimental and numerical study of librationally driven flow in planetary cores and subsurface oceans, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 173: 141 – 152.

King, E.M., Stellmach, S., Noir, J., Hansen, U., and Aurnou, J.M., 2009, Boundary layer control of rotating convection systems, Nature 457: 301- 304.

Nadiga, B.T., and Aurnou, J.M., 2008, Hands-on: A tabletop demonstration of atmospheric dynamics – Baroclinic Instability, Oceanography, 21: 196 – 201.

Aurnou, J. M., Heimpel, M., Allen, L., King, E., Wicht, J., 2008, Convective heat transfer and the pattern of thermal emission on the gas giants, Geophysical Journal International 173: 793 – 801.

Kabin, K., Heimpel, M.H., Rankin, R., Aurnou, J.M., Gómez-Pérez, N., Paral, J., Gombosi, T.I., Zurbuchenc, T.H., Koehnd, P.L., DeZeeuw, D.L., 2008, Global MHD modeling of Mercury’s magnetosphere with applications to the MESSENGER mission and dynamo theory, Icarus, 195, 1 – 15.

Aubert, J., J. M. Aurnou, J. Wicht, 2008, The magnetic structure of convection-driven numerical dynamos, Geophysical Journal International 172: 945 – 956.

Aurnou, J. M., 2007, Planetary core dynamics and convective heat transfer scaling, Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics, 101, 327-345.

Aurnou, J. M., M. H. Heimpel and, J. Wicht, 2007, The effects of vigorous mixing in a convective model of zonal flow on the Ice Giants, Icarus, 190, 110-126 (doi:10.1016/ j.icarus.2007.02.024).

Zuber, M. T., et al., 2007, The geophysics of Mercury: Current status and anticipated insights from the MESSENGER Mission, Space Science Reviews, doi:10.1007/s11214-007-9265-4.

Tarter, J., et al., 2007, A re-appraisal of the habitability of planets around M dwarf stars, Astrobiology, 7, 30 – 65.

M. H. Heimpel and J. M. Aurnou, 2007, Turbulent convection in rapidly rotating spherical shells: A model for equatorial and high latitude jets on Jupiter and Saturn, Icarus, 187, 540 – 557.

Aurnou, J.M., Fluid Dynamics Experiments, Encyclopedia of Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism, Eds. David Gubbins and Emilio Herrero-Bervera, Springer Press, New York, pp. 274-276, 2007.

Hauck, S. A., J. M. Aurnou and, A. J. Dombard, 2006, Sulfur’s impact on core evolution and magnetic field generation on Ganymede, Journal of Geophysical Research (Planets), 111, E09008, doi:10.1029/2005JE002557.

Heimpel, M.H., Aurnou, J.M., Al-Shamali, F.M. and Gomez Perez, N., 2005, A numerical study of dynamo action as a function of spherical shell geometry, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 236, 542-557.

Solomon, S. C., et al., 2005, New Perspectives on Ancient Mars, Science, 307, 1214-1220.

Heimpel, M., Aurnou, J.M., Wicht, J., 2005, Simulation of equatorial and high latitude jets on Jupiter in a deep convection model, Nature, 438, 193-196.

Brito, D., Aurnou, J.M., and Cardin P., 2004, Turbulent viscosity measurements relevant to planetary core-mantle dynamics, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 141, 38.

F.M. Al-Shamali, M.H. Heimpel, and J.M. Aurnou, 2004, Varying The Spherical Shell Geometry In Rotating Thermal Convection, Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics, 98, 153169.

Aurnou, J.M., 2004, Secrets of the deep, Nature, 428, 134-135.

Aurnou, J.M., and M.H. Heimpel, 2004, Zonal jets in rotating convection with mixed mechanical boundary conditions, Icarus, 169, 492-498.

J.M. Aurnou, S. Andreadis, L. Zhu and P.L. Olson, 2003, Experiments on convection in Earth’s core tangent cylinder, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 212, 119-134.

Aurnou, J., 2003, Questions and answers, Planetary Report, May-June.

P.L. Olson, I. Sumita, J.M. Aurnou, 2002, Diffusive magnetic images of upwelling patterns in the core, Journal of Geophysical Research, 107 (B12), 2348, doi: 10.1029/2001JB000384.

Aurnou, J.M. and P.L. Olson, 2001, Experiments on Rayleigh-Benard convection, magnetoconvection and rotating magnetoconvection in liquid gallium, J. Fluid Mech., 430, 283-307.

Aurnou, J.M. and P.L. Olson, 2001, Strong zonal winds from thermal convection in a rotating spherical shell, Geophys. Res. Letts., 28, 2557-2559.


Aurnou, J.M., Olson, P., 1999, Control of inner core rotation by electromagnetic, gravitational and mechanical torques, Physics of Earth and Planetary Interiors, 117, 111-121.

Olson, P.L., and J.M. Aurnou, 1999, A polar vortex in the Earth’s core, Nature, 402, 170-173.

Brito, D., Aurnou, J.M., Olson, P., 1999, Can heterogeneous core-mantle electromagnetic coupling control geomagnetic reversals?, Physics of Earth and Planetary Interiors, 112, 159-170.

Aurnou, J.M., Brito, D., Olson, P., 1998, Anomalous rotation of the inner core and the toroidal magnetic field, Journal of Geophysical Research, 103, 9721-9738,

Aurnou, J.M., Brito, D., and P.L. Olson, 1996, Mechanics of inner core super-rotation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 23, 3401-3404.