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Spectral analysis of mixing in chaotic flows via the mapping matrix formalism: Inclusion of molecular diffusion and quantitative eigenvalue estimate in the purely convective limit

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10.1063/1.4738598

### Abstract

This paper extends the mapping matrix formalism to include the effects of molecular diffusion in the analysis of mixing processes in chaotic flows. The approach followed is Lagrangian, by considering the stochastic formulation of advection-diffusion processes via the Langevin equation for passive fluid particle motion. In addition, the inclusion of diffusional effects in the mapping matrix formalism permits to frame the spectral properties of mapping matrices in the purely convective limit in a quantitative way. Specifically, the effects of coarse graining can be quantified by means of an effective Péclet number that scales as the second power of the linear lattice size. This simple result is sufficient to predict the scaling exponents characterizing the behavior of the eigenvalue spectrum of the advection-diffusion operator in chaotic flows as a function of the Péclet number, exclusively from purely kinematic data, by varying the grid resolution. Simple but representative model systems and realistic physically realizable flows are considered under a wealth of different kinematic conditions–from the presence of large quasi-periodic islands intertwined by chaotic regions, to almost globally chaotic conditions, to flows possessing “sticky islands”–providing a fairly comprehensive characterization of the different numerical phenomenologies that may occur in the quantitative analysis of mapping matrices, and ultimately of chaotic mixing processes.

© 2012 American Institute of Physics

Received 20 July 2011
Accepted 21 June 2012
Published online 31 July 2012

Article outline:

I. INTRODUCTION

II. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

A. Spectral analysis of mixing

B. Mapping matrix formalism

C. Model systems

III. MAPPING MATRIX DESCRIPTION OF ADVECTION-DIFFUSION PROCESSES

A. Langevin construction of the diffusive mapping matrix

B. Statistical analysis of the mapping matrix

C. Further observations on spectral properties

IV. THE CONVECTIVE LIMIT: INTRODUCTORY ANALYSIS

A. Effective Péclet number

B. Scaling analysis

V. DIFFUSIVE MAPPING MATRICES

VI. THE CONVECTIVE LIMIT: CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS

A. Critical cases

B. Norm evolution

VII. SPECTRAL ANALYSIS OF REALISTIC FLOWS AND FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS

A. Realistic flow systems

B. Large *Pe* simulations

C. Advection-diffusion analysis in the presence of long-range correlated fluctuations

VIII. CONCLUDING REMARKS

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2012-07-31

2014-04-20

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