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# Theoretical and computational aspects of the self-induced motion of three-dimensional vortex sheets

Abstract

Theoretical and computational aspects of the self-induced motion of closed and periodic three-dimensional vortex sheets situated at the interfaces between two inviscid uids with generally different densities in the presence of surface tension are considered. In the mathematical formulation, the vortex sheet is described by a continuous distribution of marker points that move with the velocity of the fluid normal to the vortex sheet while executing an arbitrary tangential motion. Evolution equations for the vectorial jump in the velocity across the vortex sheet, the vectorial strength of the vortex sheet, and the scalar circulation field or strength of the effective dipole field following the marker points are derived. The computation of the self-induced motion of the vortex sheet requires the accurate evaluation of the strongly singular Biot-Savart integral whose existence requires that the normal vector varies in a continuous fashion over the vortex sheet. Two methods of computing the principal value of the Biot-Savart integral are implemented. The first method involves computing the vector potential and the principal value of the harmonic potential over the vortex sheet, and then differentiating them in tangential directions to produce the normal or tangential component of the velocity, in the spirit of generalized vortex methods developed by Baker (1983). The second method involves subtracting off the dominant singularity of the Biot-Savart kernel and then accounting for its contribution by use of vector identities. Evaluating the strongly singular Biot-Savart integral is thus reduced to computing a weakly singular integral involving the mean curvature of the vortex sheet, and this allows the routine discretization of the vortex sheet into curved elements whose normal vector is not necessarily continuous across the edges, and the computation of the self-induced velocity without kernel desingularization. Numerical simulations of the motion of a closed or periodic vortex sheet immersed in a homogeneous fluid confirm the effectiveness of the numerical methods for a limited time of evolution. Numerical instabilities arise after a certain evolution time due to the ill-posedness of vortex sheet dynamics. The motion may be regularized by desingularizing the Biot-Savart kernel using either Krasny's (1986b) method or spectrum truncation. Depending, however, on the physical mechanism that drives the motion, the instabilities may persevere.

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Journal of Fluid Mechanics
• ISSN: 0022-1120
• EISSN: 1469-7645
• URL: /core/journals/journal-of-fluid-mechanics
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