Articles | Volume 13, issue 5
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 13, 499–507, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-13-499-2006

Special issue: Nonlinear dynamics of Earth-Oceans-Space (EOS2005)

Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 13, 499–507, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-13-499-2006

  21 Sep 2006

21 Sep 2006

Unstable periodic motion in turbulent flows

G. Kawahara1, S. Kida2, and L. van Veen3 G. Kawahara et al.
  • 1Department of Mechanical Science, Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University, Osaka 560-8531, Japan
  • 2Department of Mechanical Engineering and Science, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
  • 3Department of Mathematical and Statistical Science, La Trobe University, Victoria 3086, Australia

Abstract. Recently found unstable time-periodic solutions to the incompressible Navier-Stokes equation are reviewed to discuss their relevance to plane Couette turbulence and isotropic turbulence. It is shown that the periodic motion embedded in the Couette turbulence exhibits a regeneration cycle of near-wall coherent structures, which consists of formation and breakdown of streamwise vortices and low-velocity streaks. In phase space a turbulent state wanders around the corresponding periodic orbit for most of the time, so that the root-mean-squares of velocity fluctuations of the Couette turbulence agree very well with the temporal averages of those along the periodic orbit. The Kolmogorov universal-range energy spectrum is observed for the periodic motion embedded in high-symmetric turbulence at the Taylor-microscale Reynolds number Reλ=67. A laminarization strategy inspired by investigation of the phase-space structure in the vicinity of the unstable periodic orbit is presented for the Couette turbulence.