When buoyant vortex rings form, azimuthal disturbances occur on their surface. When the magnitude of the disturbance is sufficiently high, the ring will become turbulent. This paper establishes conditions for categorization of a buoyant vortex ring as laminar, transitional, or turbulent. The transition regime of enclosed-air buoyant vortex rings rising in still water was examined experimentally via two high-speed cameras. Sequences of the recorded pictures were analyzed using matlab. Key observations were summarized as follows: for Reynolds number lower than 14,000, Bond number below 30, and Weber number below 50, the vortex ring could not be produced. A transition regime was observed for Reynolds numbers between 40,000 and 70,000, Bond numbers between 120 and 280, and Weber number between 400 and 800. Below this range, only laminar vortex rings were observed, and above, only turbulent vortex rings.

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