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Mean flow generation by Görtler vortices in a rotating annulus with librating side walls
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Time periodic variation of the rotation rate of an annulus induces in supercritical regime an unstable Stokes boundary layer over the cylinder side walls, generating Görtler vortices in a portion of a libration cycle as a discrete event. Numerical results show that these vortices propagate into the fluid bulk and generate an azimuthal mean flow. Direct numerical simulations of the fluid flow in an annular container with librating outer (inner) cylinder side wall and Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) equations as diagnostic equations are used to investigate generation mechanism of the retrograde (prograde) azimuthal mean flow in the bulk. First, we explain, phenomenologically, how absolute angular momentum of the bulk flow is mixed and changed due to the propagation of the Görtler vortices, causing a new vortex of basin size. Then we investigate the RANS equations for intermediate time scale of the development of the Görtler vortices and for long time scale of the order of several libration periods. The former exhibits sign selection of the azimuthal mean flow. Investigating the latter, we predict that the azimuthal mean flow is proportional to the libration amplitude squared and to the inverse square root of the Ekman number and libration frequency and then confirms this using the numerical data. Additionally, presence of an upscale cascade of energy is shown, using the kinetic energy budget of fluctuating flow.
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