Emergence and evolution of tripole vortices from non-shielded initial conditions

LA Barba, A Leonard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The emergence of coherent vortical structures is a hallmark of the evolution of two-dimensional turbulence. Two fundamental processes of this evolution have been identified in vortex merging and vortex axisymmetrization. The question of whether axisymmetrization is a universal process has recently been answered in the negative. In the linear approximation, vortices indeed become axisymmetric, due to shear-enhanced diffusion. In the case of nonlinear interactions, other outcomes are possible; in the present work, we discuss a situation in which the flow reorganizes into a tripolar vortex. By performing an extensive numerical study, spanning the parameter space, we pursue the questions of what dictates if the flow will become axisymmetric or will develop into a quasisteady tripolar vortex, and what are the stages and the time scales of the flow evolution. The initial condition in this study consists of a Gaussian monopole with a quadrupolar perturbation. The amplitude of the perturbation and the Reynolds number determine the evolution. A tripole emerges for sufficiently large amplitude of the perturbation, and we seek to find a critical amplitude that varies with Reynolds number. We make several physical observations derived from visualizing and postprocessing numerous flow simulations: looking at the decay of the perturbation with respect to viscous or shear diffusion time scales; applying mixing theory; obtaining the first few azimuthal modes of the vorticity field; and describing the long-time evolution.
Translated title of the contributionEmergence and evolution of tripole vortices from non-shielded initial conditions
Original languageEnglish
Article numberArticle 017101
Pages (from-to)1 - 16
Number of pages16
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Volume19 (1)
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Amer Inst Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Emergence and evolution of tripole vortices from non-shielded initial conditions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this