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Published April 2017 | metadata_only
Journal Article

The engine behind (wall) turbulence: perspectives on scale interactions

McKeon, B. J.


Known structures and self-sustaining mechanisms of wall turbulence are reviewed and explored in the context of the scale interactions implied by the nonlinear advective term in the Navier–Stokes equations. The viewpoint is shaped by the systems approach provided by the resolvent framework for wall turbulence proposed by McKeon & Sharma (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 658, 2010, pp. 336–382), in which the nonlinearity is interpreted as providing the forcing to the linear Navier–Stokes operator (the resolvent). Elements of the structure of wall turbulence that can be uncovered as the treatment of the nonlinearity ranges from data-informed approximation to analysis of exact solutions of the Navier–Stokes equations (so-called exact coherent states) are discussed. The article concludes with an outline of the feasibility of extending this kind of approach to high-Reynolds-number wall turbulence in canonical flows and beyond.

Additional Information

© 2017 Cambridge University Press. Published online: 24 March 2017. Many students and collaborators have contributed to the development of the approach to scale interactions that has been described here, and it is a pleasure to acknowledge them. The framework for resolvent analysis for turbulent flow was conceived in equal part by the author and A. Sharma of the University of Southampton, whose long-time and ongoing collaboration is gratefully acknowledged. Current and former group members D. Chung, S. Duvvuri, I. Jacobi, M. Luhar, R. Moarref, K. Rosenberg and T. Saxton-Fox advanced the development, as have collaborations and discussions with many colleagues and friends, most notably H. Blackburn, D. Goldstein, F. Gómez-Carrasco, M. Jovanovic, M. Rudman, P. Schmid and J. Tropp. I have particularly appreciated the input of the distinguished reviewers, which has significantly improved this article. The funding support of AFOSR and ONR for our work described herein is gratefully acknowledged.

Additional details

August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023