Lagrangian approach to weakly nonlinear stability of elliptical flow

Y. Fukumoto, M. Hirota, Y. Mie

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Rotating flows with elliptically strained streamlines suffer from parametric resonance instability between a pair of Kelvin waves whose azimuthal wavenumbers are separated by two. We address the weakly nonlinear amplitude evolution of three-dimensional (3D) Kelvin waves, in resonance, on a flow confined in a cylinder of elliptic cross-section. In a traditional Eulerian approach, derivation of the mean flow induced by nonlinear interaction of Kelvin waves stands as an obstacle. We show how a topological idea, or the Lagrangian approach, facilitates calculation of the wave-induced mean flow. A steady incompressible Euler flow is characterized as a state of the maximum of the total kinetic energy with respect to perturbations constrained to an isovortical sheet, and the isovortical perturbation is handled only in terms of the Lagrangian variables. The criticality in energy of a steady flow allows us to calculate the wave-induced mean flow only from the linear Lagrangian displacement. With the mean flow at hand, the Lagrangian approach provides us with a shortcut to enter into a weakly nonlinear amplitude evolution regime of 3D disturbances. Unlike the Eulerian approach, the amplitude equations are available directly in the Hamiltonian normal form.

Original languageEnglish
Article number014049
JournalPhysica Scripta
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event2nd International Conference and Advanced School on Turbulent Mixing and Beyond, TMB-2009 - Trieste, Italy
Duration: 2009 Jul 272009 Aug 7


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