Wednesday, March 20, 2013

1303.4361 (Philip S. Marcus et al.)

Self-Replicating Three-Dimensional Vortices in Neutrally-Stable Stratified Rotating Shear Flows    [PDF]

Philip S. Marcus, Suyang Pei, Chung-Hsiang Jiang, Pedram Hassanzadeh
A previously unknown instability creates space-filling lattices of 3D vortices in linearly-stable, rotating, stratified shear flows. The instability starts from an easily-excited critical layer. The layer intensifies by drawing energy from the background shear and rolls-up into vortices that excite new critical layers and vortices. The vortices self-similarly replicate to create lattices of turbulent vortices. The vortices persist for all time. This self-replication occurs in stratified Couette flows and in the dead zones of protoplanetary disks where it can de-stabilize Keplerian flows.
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