This paper presents a detailed investigation of flow topologies in bubble-induced two-phase turbulence. Two freely moving and deforming air bubbles that have been suspended in liquid water under counterflow conditions have been considered for this analysis. The direct numerical simulation data considered here are based on the one-fluid formulation of the two-phase flow governing equations. To study the development of coherent structures, a local flow topology analysis is performed. Using the invariants of the velocity gradient tensor, all possible small-scale flow structures can be categorized into two nodal and two focal topologies for incompressible turbulent flows. The volume fraction of focal topologies in the gaseous phase is consistently higher than in the surrounding liquid phase. This observation has been argued to be linked to a strong vorticity production at the regions of simultaneous high fluid velocity and high interface curvature. Depending on the regime (steady/laminar or unsteady/turbulent), additional effects related to the density and viscosity jump at the interface influence the behaviour. The analysis also points to a specific term of the vorticity transport equation as being responsible for the induction of vortical motion at the interface. Besides the known mechanisms, this term, related to surface tension and gradients of interface curvature, represents another potential source of turbulence production that lends itself to further investigation.
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