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Spreading of two-dimensional axisymmetric vortices exposed to a rotating strain field

By M R Turner and A D Gilbert

Abstract

This paper examines the evolution of an axisymmetric two{dimensional vortex in a\ud steadily rotating strain eld, and the dynamical interactions that can enhance vortex\ud spreading through resonant behaviour.\ud \ud Starting with a point vortex localised at the origin, the applied strain eld generates\ud a cat's eye topology in the co{rotating stream function, localised around a radius rext.\ud Now the vortex is allowed to spread viscously: initially rext lies outside the vortex but\ud as it spreads, vorticity is advected into the cat's eyes, leading to a local \ud attening of\ud the mean prole of the vortex and so to enhanced mixing and spreading of the vortex.\ud Together with this is a feedback: the response of the vortex to the external strain depends\ud on the modied prole. The feedback is particularly strong when rext coincides with the\ud radius rcat at which the vortex can support cat's eyes of innitesimal width. There is\ud a particular time at which this occurs, as these radii change with the viscous spread\ud of the vortex: rext moves inwards and rcat outwards. This resonance behaviour leads to\ud increased mixing of vorticity, along with a rapid stretching of vorticity contours and a\ud sharp increase in the amplitude of the non{axisymmetric components.\ud \ud The dynamical feedback and enhanced diusion are studied for viscously spreading vortices by means of numerical simulations of their time evolution, parameterised only\ud by the Reynolds number R and the dimensionless strength A of the external strain eld

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
DOI identifier: 10.1017/S0022112009006855
OAI identifier: oai:epubs.surrey.ac.uk:2894

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