The complex dynamics of turbulent flow in the vicinity of a solid surface underlie numerous scientifically important processes, and pose persistently daunting challenges in many engineering applications. Since their discovery decades ago, coherent motions have presented a tantalizing prospective opportunity for constructing descriptions of wall-flow dynamics using only a relatively small number of elements. The veracity and reliability of such representations are, however, ultimately tied to their basis in the Navier–Stokes equations. In this regard, the study by Sharma & McKeon (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 728, 2013, pp. 196–238) constitutes an important contribution, as it not only provides insights regarding the mechanisms underlying wall-flow coherent motion formation and evolution, but does so within a Navier–Stokes framework.
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