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Free-stream coherent structures in parallel boundary-layer flows

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 July 2014

Kengo Deguchi*
Department of Mathematics, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK
Philip Hall
Department of Mathematics, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK
Email address for correspondence:


Our concern in this paper is with high-Reynolds-number nonlinear equilibrium solutions of the Navier–Stokes equations for boundary-layer flows. Here we consider the asymptotic suction boundary layer (ASBL) which we take as a prototype parallel boundary layer. Solutions of the equations of motion are obtained using a homotopy continuation from two known types of solutions for plane Couette flow. At high Reynolds numbers, it is shown that the first type of solution takes the form of a vortex–wave interaction (VWI) state, see Hall & Smith (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 227, 1991, pp. 641–666), and is located in the main part of the boundary layer. On the other hand, here the second type is found to support an equilibrium solution of the unit-Reynolds-number Navier–Stokes equations in a layer located a distance of $\def \xmlpi #1{}\def \mathsfbi #1{\boldsymbol {\mathsf {#1}}}\let \le =\leqslant \let \leq =\leqslant \let \ge =\geqslant \let \geq =\geqslant \def \Pr {\mathit {Pr}}\def \Fr {\mathit {Fr}}\def \Rey {\mathit {Re}}O(\ln \mathit{Re})$ from the wall. Here $\mathit{Re}$ is the Reynolds number based on the free-stream speed and the unperturbed boundary-layer thickness. The streaky field produced by the interaction grows exponentially below the layer and takes its maximum size within the unperturbed boundary layer. The results suggest the possibility of two distinct types of streaky coherent structures existing, possibly simultaneously, in disturbed boundary layers.

© 2014 Cambridge University Press 

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Present address: School of Mathematics, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC 3800, Australia.


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