Publications

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2016
Carnevale, GF, Kloosterziel RC, Orlandi P.  2016.  Equilibration of centrifugally unstable vortices: A review. European Journal of Mechanics B-Fluids. 55:246-258.   10.1016/j.euromechflu.2015.06.007   AbstractWebsite

In three-dimensional flow, a vortex can become turbulent and be destroyed through a variety of instabilities. In rotating flow, however, the result of the breakup of a vortex is usually a state comprising several vortices with their axes aligned along the ambient rotation direction. This article is a review of our recent work on how the combined effect of centrifugal and barotropic instabilities can breakup a vortex and lead to its reformation in a predictable way even though an intermediate stage in the evolution is turbulent. Centrifugal instability tends to force the unstable vortex into a turbulent state that mixes absolute angular momentum in such a way as to precondition the flow for a subsequent barotropic instability. A method for predicting the redistribution of angular momentum and theresulting velocity profile is discussed. The barotropic instability horizontally redistributes the component of vorticity that is aligned along the ambient rotation vector, resulting in the final byproducts of the instability, which are stabilized by the effects of ambient rotation. A prediction scheme that puts the tendencies of these two instabilities together proves to be very reliable. (C) 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

2015
Kloosterziel, RC, Orlandi P, Carnevale GF.  2015.  Saturation of equatorial inertial instability. Journal of Fluid Mechanics. 767:562-594.   10.1017/jfm.2015.63   AbstractWebsite

Inertial instability in parallel shear flows and circular vorwes in a uniformly rotating system (f-plane) redistributes absolute linear momentum or absolute angular momentum in such a way as to neutralize the instability. In previous studies we showed that, in the absence of other instabilities, at high Reynolds numbers the final equilibrium can be predicted with a simple construction based on conservation of total momentum. In this paper we continue this line of research with a study of barotropic shear flows on the equatorial /3-plane, Through numerical simulations the evolution of the instability is studied in select illuminating cases: a westward flowing Gaussian jet With the flow axis exactly on the equator, a uniform shear flow and eastward and Wes t w ard flowing jets that have their flow axis shifted away from the equator. In the numerical simulations it is assumed that there are no along -stream variations. 'fins suppresses equatorial Rossby W a ve s and barotropic shear instabilities and allows only inertial instability to develop. We investigate whether for these flow S the equatorial t-plane the final equilibrated flow can be predicted as was possible for flows on the f-plane. For the Gaussian jet centred on the equator the prediction of the equilibrated flow is obvious by mere inspection of the initial momentum distribution and by assuming that momentum is mixed and homogenized to render the equilibrated flow inertially stable. For the uniform shear flow, however, due to the peculiar nature of the initial momentum distribution and the fact that the Coriolis parameter f varies with latitude, it appears that, unlike in our earlier studies of flows on the f-plane, additional constraints need to be considered to correctly predict the outcome of the highly nonlinear evolution of the instability, The mixing range of the linear shear flow and the value of the mixed momentum is determined numerically and this is used to predict the equilibrated flow that emerges from an eastward flowing jet that is shifted a small distance away from the equator. For shifts large enough to induce no shcar at the equator the equilibrium flow can be well predicted using the simple rccipe used in our carlicr studies of parallel shear flows on the f-plane. For thc westward flowing jet shifted a very small distance from the equator, no prcdiction appears feasible. For modcstly small shifts a prediction is possiblc by combining the empirical prcdiction for thc linear shear flow with a prediction similar to what we used in our previous studies for flows on the f-plane.

2011
Carnevale, GF, Kloosterziel RC, Orlandi P, van Sommeren D.  2011.  Predicting the aftermath of vortex breakup in rotating flow. Journal of Fluid Mechanics. 669:90-119.   10.1017/s0022112010004945   AbstractWebsite

A method for predicting the outcome of vortex breakup in a rotating flow is introduced. The vortices dealt with here are subject to both centrifugal and barotropic instabilities. The prediction of the aftermath of the breakup relies on knowing how both centrifugal and barotropic instabilities would equilibrate separately. A theoretical model for non-linear equilibration in centrifugal instability is wedded to two-dimensional simulation of barotropic instability to predict the final vortices that emerge from the debris of the original vortex. This prediction method is tested against three-dimensional Navier-Stokes simulations. For vortices in which a rapid centrifugal instability triggers a slower barotropic instability, the method is successful both qualitatively and quantitatively. The skill of the prediction method decreases as the time scales of the two instabilities become comparable.

2008
Kloosterziel, RC, Carnevale GF.  2008.  Vertical scale selection in inertial instability. Journal of Fluid Mechanics. 594:249-269.   10.1017/s0022112007009007   AbstractWebsite

The linear instability of a barotropic flow with uniform horizontal shear in a stratified rotating fluid is investigated with respect to perturbations invariant in the alongflow direction. The flow can be inertially unstable if there is sufficiently strong anticyclonic shear, but only for sufficiently high Reynolds numbers Re. We determine the critical Reynolds numbers required for amplification of the instability as a function of Prandtl number, strength of the stratification and magnitude of the shear. The vertical scales at the onset of the instability are calculated. For Prandtl number P < 1.44 instability always sets in through stationary overturning motions, for P > 1.44 it may also commence through overstable (oscillatory) motions. For Re exceeding the critical value, we determine the vertical scale of the most rapidly amplifying modes and the corresponding growth rates and how they vary with Re, P, the shear and the strength of stratification.

2005
Zavala Sanson, L, Serravall R, Carnevale GF, vanHeijst GJF.  2005.  Experiments and simulations on coastal flows in the presence of a topographic slope. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 35:2204-2218.   10.1175/jpo2815.1   AbstractWebsite

The evolution of a barotropic coastal current in the presence of a bottom ramp-shaped topography is studied by means of laboratory experiments and numerical simulations. The experiments are performed in a rectangular rotating tank filled with freshwater. The fluid depth is shallow at one side of the domain and deeper at the other side, and both regions are divided by a narrow slope, whose depth contours are perpendicular to the long sides of the tank. A current approaching the slope is produced along one of the vertical walls, having the boundary at its right. Two configurations are analyzed: when the current flows from shallow to deep water and when flowing in the opposite direction. In the first scenario, the current is divided in two parts, one of them following the coastline. The other part of the current pairs with a cell of negative relative vorticity generated at the slope due to squeezing effects, forming a dipolar structure moving offshore, back toward the shallow side. In addition, a weak current moving inshore along the slope is clearly formed. In the second configuration, when the flow goes from deep to shallow water, a part of or even the whole current might be forced to move along the contours of the topography, away from the coast. In this case there is no dipole formation. The experiments are well reproduced by means of quasigeostrophic numerical simulations, which allow a more detailed systematic study of the influence of flow parameters such as the topography height and the width of the slope.

1999
Orlandi, P, Carnevale GF.  1999.  Evolution of isolated vortices in a rotating fluid of finite depth. Journal of Fluid Mechanics. 381:239-269.   10.1017/s0022112098003693   AbstractWebsite

Laboratory experiments have shown that monopolar isolated vortices in a rotating flow undergo instabilities that result in the formation of multipolar vortex states such as dipoles and tripoles. In some cases the instability is entirely two-dimensional, with the vortices taking the form of vortex columns aligned along the direction of the ambient rotation at all times. In other cases, the vortex first passes through a highly turbulent three-dimensional state before eventually reorganizing into vortex columns. Through a series of three-dimensional numerical simulations, the roles that centrifugal instability, barotropic instability, and the bottom Ekman boundary layer play in these instabilities are investigated. Evidence is presented that the centrifugal instability can trigger the barotropic instabilities by the enhancement of vorticity gradients. It is shown that the bottom Ekman layer is not essential to these instabilities but can strongly modify their evolution.

1997
Carnevale, GF, Fuentes OUV, Orlandi P.  1997.  Inviscid dipole-vortex rebound from a wall or coast. Journal of Fluid Mechanics. 351:75-103.   10.1017/s0022112097007155   AbstractWebsite

A vortex approaching a no-slip wall 'rebounds' due to the creation of vorticity at the wall in a viscous boundary layer. Here it is demonstrated that a purely inviscid mechanism can also produce vortex rebound from a slip wall. In inviscid vortex rebound, vortex tube stretching generates the necessary vorticity to allow rebound, eliminating the need for viscous vorticity generation. This vortex stretching mechanism is demonstrated through numerical simulations and laboratory experiments on dipole-vortex rebound from a boundary. In an application to oceanography, numerical simulations of both quasi-geostrophic and shallow water dynamics are used to show that the beta-effect at an eastern boundary can produce this inviscid rebound. Through a series of numerical experiments in which the strength of the beta-effect is varied, a formula for predicting the point of separation of the vortices from the boundary in a dipole-coast collision is deduced. Through simulations, the flux of vorticity and fluid away from the boundary is measured as a function of beta and initial angle of incidence. It is found that, in contrast to viscous vortex rebound, which typically does not produce a flux of material away from the boundary farther than a distance comparable to the initial vortex radius, the beta-induced rebound does carry fluid far from the coast. Laboratory experiments in a rotating tank are used to show that a sloping bottom can also provide an inviscid mechanism for dipole-vortex rebound from the wall of the tank under certain conditions. A relation determining the conditions under which inviscid or viscous processes will dominate in the rebound of the dipole from a boundary is obtained.

Carnevale, GF, Briscolini M, Kloosterziel RC, Vallis GK.  1997.  Three-dimensionally perturbed vortex tubes in a rotating flow. Journal of Fluid Mechanics. 341:127-163.   10.1017/s0022112097005430   AbstractWebsite

Numerical experiments are used to study the evolution of perturbed vortex tubes in a rotating environment in order to better understand the process of two-dimensionalization of unsteady rotating flows. We specifically consider non-axisymmetric perturbations to columnar vortices aligned along the axis of rotation. The basic unperturbed vortex is chosen to have a Gaussian cross-sectional vorticity distribution. The experiments cover a parameter space in which both the strength of the initial perturbation and the Rossby number are varied. The Rossby number is defined here as the ratio of the maximum amplitude of vorticity in the Gaussian vorticity profile to twice the ambient rotation rate. For small perturbations and small Rossby numbers, both cyclones and anticyclones behave similarly, relaxing rapidly back toward two-dimensional columnar vortices. For large perturbations and small Rossby numbers, a rapid instability occurs for both cyclones and anticyclones in which antiparallel vorticity is created. The tubes break up and then re-form again into columnar vortices parallel to the rotation axis (i.e. into a quasi-two-dimensional flow) through nonlinear processes. For Rossby numbers greater than 1, even small perturbations result in the complete breakdown of the anticyclonic vortex through centrifugal instability, while cyclones remain stable. For a range of Rossby numbers greater than 1, after the breakdown of the anticyclone, a new weaker anticyclone forms, with a small-scale background vorticity of spectral shape given approximately by the -5/3 energy spectral law.

1994
Carnevale, GF, Kloosterziel RC.  1994.  Lobe shedding from propagating vortices. Physica D. 76:147-167.   10.1016/0167-2789(94)90256-9   AbstractWebsite

Associated with intense propagating vortices is a separatrix defining a region of fluid that is transported with the vortex. The distortion of this separatrix, under external perturbations, leads to entrainment and detrainment of fluid. The detrained fluid is shed in lobes in the wake of the vortex. Examples of this phenomenon for a propagating monopole and dipole are provided from rotating-tank experiments and numerical simulations.