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Turbulent-laminar patterns in plane Poiseuille flow

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Infoscience @ EPFL
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Turbulent-laminar banded patterns in plane Poiseuille flow are studied via direct numerical simulations in a tilted and translating computational domain using a parallel version of the pseudospectral code Channelflow. 3D visualizations via the streamwise vorticity of an instantaneous and a time-averaged pattern are presented, as well as 2D visualizations of the average velocity field and the turbulent kinetic energy. Simulations for 2300 >= Re-b >= 700 show the gradual development from uniform turbulence to a pattern with wavelength 20 half-gaps at Re-b approximate to 1900, to a pattern with wavelength 40 at Re-b approximate to 1300 and finally to laminar flow at Re-b approximate to 800. These transitions are tracked quantitatively via diagnostics using the amplitude and phase of the Fourier transform and its probability distribution. The propagation velocity of the pattern is approximately that of the mean flux and is a decreasing function of Reynolds number. Examination of the time-averaged flow shows that a turbulent band is associated with two counter-rotating cells stacked in the cross-channel direction and that the turbulence is highly concentrated near the walls. Near the wall, the Reynolds stress force accelerates the fluid through a turbulent band while viscosity decelerates it; advection by the laminar profile acts in both directions. In the center, the Reynolds stress force decelerates the fluid through a turbulent band while advection by the laminar profile accelerates it. These characteristics are compared with those of turbulent-laminar banded patterns in plane Couette flow. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.


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