Optimal bursts in turbulent channel flow
Article dans une revue avec comité de lecture
Bursts are recurrent, transient, highly energetic events characterized by localized variations of velocity and vorticity in turbulent wall-bounded ﬂows. In this work, a nonlinear energy optimization strategy is employed to investigate whether the origin of such bursting events in a turbulent channel ﬂow can be related to the presence of high-amplitude coherent structures. The results show that bursting events correspond to optimal energy ﬂow structures embedded in the fully turbulent ﬂow. In particular, optimal structures inducing energy peaks at short time are initially composed of highly oscillating vortices and streaks near the wall. At moderate friction Reynolds numbers, through the bursts, energy is exchanged between the streaks and packets of hairpin vortices of different sizes reaching the outer scale. Such an optimal ﬂow conﬁguration reproduces well the spatial spectra as well as the probability density function typical of turbulent ﬂows, recovering the mechanism of direct-inverse energy cascade. These results represent an important step towards understanding the dynamics of turbulence at moderate Reynolds numbers and pave the way to new nonlinear techniques to manipulate and control the self-sustained turbulence dynamics.
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