Formation of Coherent Structures in a Class of Realistic 3D Unsteady Flows

  • Michel F. M. Speetjens
  • Herman J. H. Clercx
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)


The formation of coherent structures in three-dimensional (3D) unsteady laminar flows in a cylindrical cavity is reviewed. The discussion concentrates on two main topics: the role of symmetries and fluid inertia in the formation of coherent structures and the ramifications for the Lagrangian transport properties of passive tracers. We consider a number of time-periodic flows that each capture a basic dynamic state of 3D flows: 1D motion on closed trajectories, (quasi-)2D motion within (approximately) 2D subregions of the flow domain and truly 3D chaotic advection. It is shown that these states and their corresponding coherent structures are inextricably linked to symmetries (or absence thereof) in the flow. Symmetry breaking by fluid inertia and the resulting formation of intricate coherent structures and (local) onset of 3D chaos is demonstrated. Finally, first experimental analyses on coherent structures and the underlying role of symmetries are discussed.


Coherent Structure Periodic Point Passive Tracer Flow Topology Invariant Surface 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michel F. M. Speetjens
    • 1
  • Herman J. H. Clercx
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringEnergy Technology and J.M. Burgers Center for Fluid DynamicsEindhovenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Applied PhysicsFluid Dynamics Laboratory and J.M. Burgers Center for Fluid DynamicsEindhovenThe Netherlands

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