The geometry of slow manifolds near a folded node

MF Desroches, B Krauskopf, HM Osinga

Research output: Working paper

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This paper is concerned with the geometry of slow manifolds of a dynamical system with two slow and one fast variable. Specifically, we study the dynamics near a folded node singularity, which is known to give rise to so-called canard solutions. Geometrically, canards are intersection curves of two-dimensional attracting and repelling slow manifolds, and they are a key element of slow-fast dynamics. For example, canard solutions are associated with mixed-mode oscillations, where they organize regions with different numbers of small oscillations. We perform a numerical study of the geometry of two-dimensional slow manifolds in the normal form of a folded node in R^3. Namely, we view the part of a slow manifold that is of interest as a one-parameter family of orbit segments up to a suitable cross-section. Hence, it is the solution of a two-point boundary value problem, which we solve by numerical continuation with the package AUTO. The computed family of orbit segments is used to obtain a mesh representation of the manifold as a surface. With this approach we show how the attracting and repelling slow manifolds change in dependence on the eigenvalue ratio mu of the reduced flow. At mu=1 two primary canards bifurcate and secondary canards are created at odd integer values of mu. We compute 24 secondary canards to investigate how they spiral more and more around one of the primary canards. The first twelve secondary canards are continued in mu to obtain a numerical bifurcation diagram.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007

Bibliographical note

Additional information: The manuscript is accompanied by three animations (GIF files)

Sponsorship: M.D. was supported by grant EP/C54403X/1 from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and H.M.O. by an
EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship grant.


  • singular perturbations
  • invariant manifolds
  • canard solution
  • boundary value problem
  • slow-fast systems


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