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Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-2017-67
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
12 Feb 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics (NPG).
Stratified Kelvin-Helmholtz turbulence of compressible shear flows
Romit Maulik and Omer San School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078, USA
Abstract. We study the scaling laws and structure functions of stratified shear flows by performing high-resolution numerical simulations of inviscid compressible turbulence induced by Kelvin-Helmholtz instability. An implicit large eddy simulation approach is adapted to solve our conservation laws for both two-dimensional (with a spatial resolution of 16,3842) and three-dimensional (with a spatial resolution of 5123) configurations utilizing different compressibility characteristics such as shocks. For three-dimensional turbulence, we find that both kinetic energy and density-weighted energy spectra follow the classical Kolmogorov k−5/3 inertial scaling. This phenomenon is observed due to the fact that the power density spectrum of three-dimensional turbulence yields the same k−5/3 scaling. However, we demonstrate that there is a significant difference between these two spectra in two-dimensional turbulence since the power density spectrum flattens to k−1/4. This flattening may be assumed to be a reason for the k−7/3 scaling observed in the two-dimensional density-weight kinetic every spectra for high compressibility as compared to the k−3 scaling traditionally assumed with incompressible flows. Further inquiries are made to validate the statistical behavior of the various configurations studied through the use of second and third order velocity structure functions where it is noticed that scaling behavior differs between the two- and three-dimensional cases wherein only the latter is seen to follow trends from K41 theory.
Citation: Maulik, R. and San, O.: Stratified Kelvin-Helmholtz turbulence of compressible shear flows, Nonlin. Processes Geophys. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-2017-67, in review, 2018.
Romit Maulik and Omer San
Romit Maulik and Omer San
Romit Maulik and Omer San

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We study the scaling laws and structure functions of stratified shear flows by performing high-resolution numerical simulations of inviscid compressible turbulence induced by Kelvin-Helmholtz instability.
We study the scaling laws and structure functions of stratified shear flows by performing...
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