Layer formation and relaminarisation in plane Couette flow with spanwise stratification
Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Cambridge University Press
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Lucas, D., Caulfield, C., & Kerswell, R. (2019). Layer formation and relaminarisation in plane Couette flow with spanwise stratification. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 868 97-118. https://doi.org/10.1017/jfm.2019.192
Recent research has shed light on the role of coherent structures in forming layers when stably stratified turbulence is forced with horizontal shear (Lucas, Caulfield & Kerswell, J. Fluid Mech., vol. 832, 2017, pp. 409-437). Here we extend our previous work to investigate the effect of rigid boundaries on the dynamics by studying stably-stratified plane Couette flow with gravity oriented in the spanwise direction. We observe near-wall layering and associated new mean flows in the form of large scale spanwise-flattened streamwise rolls. The layers exhibit the expected buoyancy scaling $l_z\sim U/N$ where $U$ is a typical horizontal velocity scale and $N$ the buoyancy frequency. We associate the new coherent structures with a stratified modification of the well-known large scale secondary flow in plane Couette and find that the possibility of the transition to sustained turbulence is controlled by the relative size of this buoyancy scale to the spanwise spacing of the streaks. We also investigate the influence on the transition to turbulence of the newly discovered linear instability in this system (Facchini et. al. 2018 arXiv:1711.11312).
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/jfm.2019.192
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/290320