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Open Access item Lagrangian Coherent Structures in three-dimensional flows

Authors:Bettencourt, João H.
López, Cristóbal
Hernández-García, Emilio
Issue Date:2012
Abstract:Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCS) act as the organizers of transport in fluid flows and are crucial to understand their stirring and mixing properties. In the case of oceanic flows, LCS are known to drive biological dynamics, from plankton to top predators, which stresses the importance of their characterization in realistic flows. Lyapunov exponents are useful tools to compute LCSs. In this paper we have used the Finite-Size Lyapunov Exponent (FSLE) to identify LCSs in two different types of three-dimensional turbulent velocity fields. First, in a canonical turbulent flow (channel flow between two parallel plates) the LCSs have a complex three-dimensional shape and are advected by the flow. Second, in an oceanographic setting (a regional simulation of the Benguela area) the LCSs also show a complex pattern on the horizontal but the small vertical velocities typical of oceanic flows result in a curtain-like shape.
Publisher version (URL):http://arxiv.org/abs/1207.1975
Appears in Collections:(IFISC) Artículos

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