Evolution of two counter-rotating vortices in a stratified turbulent environment

Yuanwei Bin, Xiang I.A. Yang, Yantao Yang, Rui Ni, Yipeng Shi

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3 Scopus citations


We conduct direct numerical simulations and study the evolution of a pair of counter-rotating vortices in a stratified and turbulent environment beyond the first vortex linking (which is due to the Crow instability). The initial position of the two vortices is perpendicular to the direction of thermal stratification. We vary the Froude number, the background turbulence intensity and the Reynolds number, covering strong, weak and neutral stratification; low, moderate and high background turbulence; and low and moderate Reynolds numbers. We observe a second vortex linking in a weakly stratified environment for the first time. The second vortex linking is followed by turbulence bursts that lead to the rapid decay of the residual vortices after the first vortex linking, leading to a short-living vortex pair. This challenges the conventional view that residual vortices have a long life span, which is true only in an unstratified environment. In addition to the second vortex linking, we observe the following. First, strong background turbulence quickly breaks the two vortices. Second, the two vortices induce secondary and tertiary vortices and lose energy to gravitational waves in a strongly stratified (Fr < 0.7) environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA47
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Nov 25 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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