Camassa-Holm equations and vortexons for axisymmetric pipe flows

Authors: Francesco Fedele, Denys Dutykh

In this paper, we study the nonlinear dynamics of an axisymmetric disturbance to the laminar state in non-rotating Poiseuille pipe flows. In particular, we show that the associated Navier-Stokes equations can be reduced to a set of coupled Camassa-Holm type equations. These support inviscid and smooth localized travelling waves, which are numerically computed using the Petviashvili method. In physical space they correspond to localized toroidal vortices that concentrate near the pipe boundaries (wall vortexons) or wrap around the pipe axis (centre vortexons) in agreement with the analytical soliton solutions derived by Fedele (2012) for small and long-wave disturbances. Inviscid singular vortexons with discontinuous radial velocities are also numerically discovered as associated to special traveling waves with a wedge-type singularity, viz. peakons. Their existence is confirmed by an analytical solution of exponentially-shaped peakons that is obtained for the particular case of the uncoupled Camassa-Holm equations. The evolution of a perturbation is also investigated using an accurate Fourier-type spectral scheme. We observe that an initial vortical patch splits into a centre vortexon radiating vorticity in the form of wall vortexons. These can under go further splitting before viscosity dissipate them, leading to a slug of centre vortexons. The splitting process originates from a radial flux of azimuthal vorticity from the wall to the pipe axis in agreement with Eyink (2008). The inviscid and smooth vortexon is similar to the nonlinear neutral structures derived by Walton (2011) and it may be a precursor to puffs and slugs observed at transition, since most likely it is unstable to non-axisymmetric disturbances.

Camassa-Holm equations and vortexons for axisymmetric pipe flows


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