The spiral wind-up of vorticity in an inviscid planar vortex
Bassom, Andrew P.
Gilbert, Andrew D.
University of Exeter
Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Cambridge University Press
The relaxation of a smooth two-dimensional vortex to axisymmetry, also known as `axisymmetrization', is studied asymptotically and numerically. The vortex is perturbed at t = 0 and differential rotation leads to the wind-up of vorticity fluctuations to forma spiral. It is shown that for infinite Reynolds number and in the linear approximation, the vorticity distribution tends to axisymmetry in a weak or coarse-grained sense: when the vorticity field is integrated against a smooth test function the result decays asymptotically as t−λ with λ = 1 + (n2 + 8)1/2, where n is the azimuthal wavenumber of the perturbation and n ≥1. The far-field stream function of the perturbation decays with the same exponent. To obtain these results the paper develops a complete asymptotic picture of the linear evolution of vorticity fluctuations for large times t, which is based on that of Lundgren (1982).
Copyright © 1998 Cambridge University Press. Published version reproduced with the permission of the publisher.
Vol. 371, pp. 109-140