Title: Large-deviation joint statistics of the finite-time Lyapunov spectrum in isotropic turbulence

One of the hallmarks of turbulent flows is the chaotic behavior of fluid particle paths with exponentially growing separation among them while their distance does not exceed the viscous range. The maximal (positive) Lyapunov exponent represents the average strength of the exponential growth rate, while fluctuations in the rate of growth are characterized by the finite-time Lyapunov exponents (FTLEs). In the last decade or so, the notion of Lagrangian coherent structures (which are often computed using FTLEs) has gained attention as a tool for visualizing coherent trajectory patterns in a flow and distinguishing regions of the flow with different mixing properties. A quantitative statistical characterization of FTLEs can be accomplished using the statistical theory of large deviations, based on the so-called Cramér function. To obtain the Cramér function from data, we use both the method based on measuring moments and measuring histograms and introduce a finite-size correction to the histogram-based method. We generalize the existing univariate formalism to the joint distributions of the two FTLEs needed to fully specify the Lyapunov spectrum in 3D flows. The joint Cramér function of turbulence is measured from two direct numerical simulation datasets of isotropic turbulence. Results are compared with joint statistics of FTLEsmore » computed using only the symmetric part of the velocity gradient tensor, as well as with joint statistics of instantaneous strain-rate eigenvalues. When using only the strain contribution of the velocity gradient, the maximal FTLE nearly doubles in magnitude, highlighting the role of rotation in de-correlating the fluid deformations along particle paths. We also extend the large-deviation theory to study the statistics of the ratio of FTLEs. The most likely ratio of the FTLEs λ{sub 1} : λ{sub 2} : λ{sub 3} is shown to be about 4:1:−5, compared to about 8:3:−11 when using only the strain-rate tensor for calculating fluid volume deformations. The results serve to characterize the fundamental statistical and geometric structure of turbulence at small scales including cumulative, time integrated effects. These are important for deformable particles such as droplets and polymers advected by turbulence.« less

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Center for Environmental and Applied Fluid Mechanics, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21218 (United States)

Publication Date:

OSTI Identifier:

22482475

Resource Type:

Journal Article

Resource Relation:

Journal Name: Physics of Fluids (1994); Journal Volume: 27; Journal Issue: 8; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)