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Fundamental and subharmonic secondary instabilities of Görtler vortices

  • Fei Li (a1) and Mujeeb R. Malik (a1)


The nonlinear development of stationary Görtler vortices leads to a highly distorted mean flow field where the streamwise velocity depends strongly not only on the wall-normal but also on the spanwise coordinates. In this paper, the inviscid instability of this flow field is analysed by solving the two-dimensional eigenvalue problem associated with the governing partial differential equation. It is found that the flow field is subject to the fundamental odd and even (with respect to the Görtler vortex) unstable modes. The odd mode, which was also found by Hall & Horseman (1991), is initially more unstable. However, there exists an even mode which has higher growth rate further downstream. It is shown that the relative significance of these two modes depends upon the Görtler vortex wavelength such that the even mode is stronger for large wavelengths while the odd mode is stronger for short wavelengths. Our analysis also shows the existence of new subharmonic (both odd and even) modes of secondary instability. The nonlinear development of the fundamental secondary instability modes is studied by solving the (viscous) partial differential equations under a parabolizing approximation. The odd mode leads to the well-known sinuous mode of break down while the even mode leads to the horseshoe-type vortex structure. This helps explain experimental observations that Görtler vortices break down sometimes by sinuous motion and sometimes by developing a horseshoe vortex structure. The details of these break down mechanisms are presented.



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Fundamental and subharmonic secondary instabilities of Görtler vortices

  • Fei Li (a1) and Mujeeb R. Malik (a1)


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