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PHYSICS OF FLUIDS 20, 055101 共2008兲

Invariants of the velocity-gradient, rate-of-strain, and rate-of-rotation


tensors across the turbulent/nonturbulent interface in jets
Carlos B. da Silvaa兲 and José C. F. Pereira
IDMEC/IST Technical University of Lisbon, Pav. Mecânica I, 1° andar/esq./LASEF,
Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
共Received 14 August 2007; accepted 20 March 2008; published online 2 May 2008兲
The invariants of the velocity gradient 共R and Q兲, rate-of-strain 共RS and QS兲, and rate-of-rotation
共QW兲 tensors are analyzed across the turbulent/nonturbulent 共T/NT兲 interface by using a direct
numerical simulation 共DNS兲 of a turbulent plane jet at Re␭ ⬇ 120. The invariants allow a detailed
characterization of the dynamics, geometry and topology of the flow during the entrainment. The
invariants Q and QS are almost equal and negative outside the turbulent region close to the T/NT
interface, which shows the existence of high values of strain product 共hence viscous dissipation of
kinetic energy兲 at that location. Right at the T/NT interface, the invariants QW and QS show that
virtually all flow points there are characterized by irrotational dissipation, with no discernible sign
of the coherent structures which are known to exist deep inside the turbulent region. Moreover, the
invariants of the velocity gradient tensor 共Q and R兲 show that the classical “teardrop” shape of their
associated phase map is not yet formed at the T/NT interface. All the invariants rapidly change after
the T/NT interface is crossed into the turbulent region. For instance, the enstrophy density,
proportional to QW, is zero in the irrotational flow region and high and more or less constant inside
the turbulent region, after it undergoes a sharp jump near the T/NT interface. Inside the turbulent
region, at a distance of only 1.7␩ from the T/NT interface, where ␩ is the Kolmogorov microscale,
the invariants QW and QS suggest that large scale coherent vortices already exist in the flow.
Furthermore, the joint probability density function of Q and R already displays its well known
teardrop shape at that location. Moreover, the geometry of the straining 共or deformation兲 of the fluid
elements during the turbulent entrainment process is preferentially characterized by biaxial
expansion with ␣S : ␤S : ␥S = 2 : 1 : −3, where ␣S, ␤S, and ␥S are the eigenvalues of the rate-of-strain
tensor arranged in descending order. Based on an analysis of the invariants, many aspects of the flow
topology inside the turbulent region at a distance of only 1.7␩ from the T/NT interface are already
similar to those observed deep inside the turbulent region. © 2008 American Institute of Physics.
关DOI: 10.1063/1.2912513兴

I. INTRODUCTION information is also obtained by analyzing the volume inte-


gral of the invariants, as shown by Soria et al.10 In these
The study of the invariants of the velocity gradient, rate- studies, several “universal” features of turbulent flows were
of-strain, and rate-of-rotation tensors in turbulent flows has observed. An example of such a result is the well known
attracted much attention since the seminal papers by Chong “teardrop” shape of the joint probability density function
et al.,1 Cantwell,2,3 and Perry and Chong.4 The invariants are 共PDF兲 of R and Q.
scalar quantities whose values are independent of the orien- An interesting line of research using the invariants con-
tation of the coordinate system and contain information con- sists in writing transport equations for each one of the
cerning the rates of vortex stretching and rotation, and on the invariants.7 Cantwell2 analyzed these equations for the in-
topology and geometry of deformation of the infinitesimal variants of the velocity gradient tensor by using the so-called
fluid elements. Furthermore, the analysis of the invariants “restricted Euler model” proposed by Vieillefosse11 where
the pressure Hessian and viscous terms are neglected. The
permits the understanding of these issues using a relatively
solutions to these equations showed some of the flow fea-
small number of variables, e.g., the second and third invari-
tures observed in isotropic turbulence such as the preferred
ants of the velocity gradient tensor combined 共Q and R兲 al-
alignment of the vorticity vector with the eigenvector corre-
low to assess the topology of the flow 共enstrophy dominated sponding to the intermediate eigenvalue of the rate-of-strain
versus strain dominated兲 or the enstrophy production 共vortex tensor, as well as the tendency for a state corresponding to
stretching versus vortex compression兲. two positive and one negative eigenvalues of this tensor.12
The invariants have been extensively used in several Another line of active research involving the invariants
flow configurations such as isotropic turbulence,5–7 turbulent has been the identification of the coherent structures in tur-
mixing layers,8 and turbulent channel flows.9 Important bulent flows, either to visualize the flow regions associated
with the presence of vortex tubes13–16 or to identify the re-
a兲
Electronic mail: carlos.silva@ist.utl.pt. gions responsible for the most important dissipation rates of

1070-6631/2008/20共5兲/055101/18/$23.00 20, 055101-1 © 2008 American Institute of Physics

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055101-2 C. B. da Silva and J. C. F. Pereira Phys. Fluids 20, 055101 共2008兲

kinetic energy.17,18 Recently, the invariants have been used


also in the context of subgrid-scale modeling.19,20
The present work uses the invariants in the context of the
turbulent entrainment that exists in free shear flows such as
mixing layers, wakes, and jets. In these flows, the flow field
can be divided into two regions. In one region, the flow is
turbulent 共T兲 and its vorticity content is high, while in the
other region, the flow consists of largely irrotational 关nontur-
(a)
bulent 共NT兲兴 flow.21 The two flow regions are divided by the
turbulent/nonturbulent 共T/NT兲 interface where the turbulent
entrainment mechanism takes place, by which a given fluid
element from the irrotational zone becomes turbulent. This
T/NT interface is very sharp and is continually deformed
over a wide range of scales. Its thickness is of the order of
the Taylor microscale.22
The mechanism of turbulent entrainment is still involved
in a great deal of mystery, despite the great number of works
(b)
devoted to it 共see, e.g., Townsend23 for a review on the clas-
sical ideas of turbulent entrainment兲. Understanding of the FIG. 1. 共Color online兲 Sketch of 共a兲 a spatially developing jet as produced in
physical mechanisms taking place at the T/NT interface is a laboratory setup and 共b兲 a temporal jet simulation as the one adopted in the
important in many natural and engineering flows since im- present work. Notice the coordinate system used in the present work indi-
cating the streamwise 共x兲, normal 共y兲, and spanwise 共z兲 directions.
portant exchanges of mass, momentum, and passive or active
scalar quantities take place across the T/NT interface.24 It
was assumed in the past that the turbulent entrainment
mechanism is mainly driven by “engulfing” motions caused ogy of the flow during the entrainment process. For this pur-
by the large scale flow vortices,23 but recent experimental pose, a DNS of a turbulent plane jet will be used. The tur-
and numerical works give more support to the original model bulent plane jet is a well known canonical free shear flow
of Corrsin and Kistler21 where the entrainment is primarily with many common features with other free shear flows such
associated with small scale 共“nibbling”兲 eddy motions.25,26 as mixing layers, wakes, round, and coaxial jets. Namely, the
Nevertheless, it is still argued that the entrainment and flow statistics are dominated by the presence of an inhomo-
mixing rates are largely determined by the large scales of geneous mean streamwise velocity profile and by the pres-
motion. ence of quite similar long lived large scale flow vortices,
Recently, the study of the turbulent entrainment saw very originated from well known instabilities 共e.g., Kelvin–
significant advances with the results from direct numerical, Helmholtz instability兲, and whose “footprints” are still dis-
simulations 共DNSs兲 of plane wakes by Bisset et al.,27,28 the cernible at the far field fully developed turbulent state.
DNSs of round jets by Mathew and Basu,25 the experimental Therefore, it is expected that the results obtained in the
measurements of round jets by Westerweel et al.,26,29 and present study display some universal qualitative features re-
with results from the flow generated by an oscillating grid by lated to the entrainment in free shear flows.
Holzner et al.30,31 Many new and sometimes quite unex- This article is organized as follows. In Sec. II, we de-
pected results were obtained in these works. One of the most scribe the plane jet DNS used in the present work. Section III
surprising results 共see Mathew and Basu25 and Westerweel describes the procedure used to detect the T/NT interface and
et al.26兲 consisted in the realization that the total amount of the data bank used in the subsequent analysis. The main
fluid entrained due to the small scale motions near the T/NT results are described in Sec. IV. In Sec. V, the work ends with
interface 共i.e., nibbling兲 is more important than the amount a review of the main results and conclusions.
of fluid entrained by large scale motions 共engulfing兲, as sug-
gested more than 50 years ago by Corrsin and Kistler.21 II. DNS OF TURBULENT PLANE JETS
Other interesting results are the existence of a finite jump in
A. Statement of the problem
the tangential velocity 共hence also in the 兩⍀z兩 vorticity com-
ponent兲 at the T/NT interface26,28 as anticipated by In this work, we are interested in analyzing the invari-
Reynolds,32 the existence of a positive contribution to the ants of the velocity gradient, rate-of-strain, and rate-of-
enstrophy by the viscous enstrophy diffusion term,28,31 the rotation tensors in connection with the mechanism of turbu-
existence of a region of high strain product in the irrotational lent entrainment in jets. A typical spatially developing plane
flow region close to the T/NT interface,31 and the estimation jet issuing from a nozzle into a tank filled with the same
of the characteristic scales of motion at the T/NT interface as fluid, as obtained in a laboratory experiment, is sketched in
being of the order of the Taylor scale.26 Fig. 1共a兲. Recent DNS of spatially evolving turbulent plane
The goal of the present work is to analyze the evolution jets include the works of Stanley et al.33 and da Silva and
of the invariants of the velocity gradient, rate-of-strain, and Métais.34
rate-of-rotation tensors across the T/NT interface in turbulent It is well known that numerical simulations of spatially
jets in order to clarify the kinematics, dynamics, and topol- developing flows, i.e., spatial simulations, can be very de-

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055101-3 Invariants of the velocity-gradient, rate-of-strain, and rate-of-rotation tensors Phys. Fluids 20, 055101 共2008兲

manding both in terms of computer time and memory due to


the need to simulate the flow inside a very large computa-
tional domain containing all the length scales of the flow.
U共x,y,z兲 =
U1 + U2 U1 − U2
2

2
tanh 冋 冉
H
4␪0
1−
2兩y兩
H
冊册 ,

共1兲
In the present work, a temporal simulation of a plane jet,
as sketched in Fig. 1共b兲, was used in order to limit the com-
putational cost. The sketch also shows the coordinate system where ␪0 is the initial momentum thickness, H is the inlet
used in the present work indicating the streamwise 共x兲, nor- nozzle of the jet, and we used U1 = 1 and U2 = 0. The mean
mal 共y兲, and spanwise 共z兲 directions. DNSs of temporally profile defined by Eq. 共1兲 was also used as the inlet condition
evolving turbulent plane jets were carried out by Akhavan in the spatial plane jet simulations of Stanley et al.33 and
et al.35 and da Silva and Pereira.36 In these simulations, the Silva and Métais34 and as the initial condition in the temporal
computational domain is periodic in the three spatial direc- simulations of Akhavan et al.35 and da Silva and Pereira.36
Many spatial and temporal simulations of turbulent round
tions, which allows the use of very fast and accurate pseu-
jets use similar 共inlet or initial兲 mean velocity profiles 共see,
dospectral methods. Thus, one studies the temporal evolution
e.g., da Silva and Métais41 and Mathew and Basu25兲 since it
of the flow generated by an initial plane jet velocity profile,
is recognized that it represents a very good approximation to
instead of the flow of a spatially developing jet. This fact
the inlet velocity profile found in measured experimental
substantially limits the size of the computational domain re- jets.42
quired by the simulations, which reduces the computational A three-component velocity fluctuating “spectral noise”
cost. was superimposed to the mean velocity profile defined by
Because in temporal simulations periodic boundary con- Eq. 共1兲 through a proper convolution function that imposes
ditions are used in the streamwise direction, the feedback the velocity fluctuations in the initial shear layer region of
effects caused by the pressure field that are known to influ- the jet. The spectral noise used here is very similar to the one
ence the details of the transition to turbulence 共e.g., see used in da Silva and Métais34 and virtually equal to the one
Thomas and Chu37兲 are absent from temporal simulations. used in da Silva and Pereira.36 This numerical noise is very
Another drawback of temporal simulations is that no rigor- similar to the standard noise used to initialize simulations
ous comparison with experimental results can be made. of decaying isotropic turbulence 共e.g., Lesieur et al.43兲. In
However, since the flow field in the fully developed turbulent short, each velocity component of the noise is prescribed
state is to a great extent independent of the details of the in such a way that its energy spectrum is given by
transition to turbulence 共e.g., see Refs. 33–36兲, temporal E共k兲 ⬃ ks exp关−s / 2共k / k0兲2兴, where the exponent s is s ⱕ 4 共as
simulations are a useful tool to analyze the flow at the far in decaying isotropic turbulence兲. However, here, the peak
field of a turbulent jet. Also, the large scale flow structures wave number k0 is chosen to give an energy input which is
that are typical of jets and other free shear flows, such as the dominant at small scales 共high k0兲 to allow the simulation to
Kelvin–Helmholtz and streamwise vortices, are well cap- evolve “naturally” by “selecting” its natural instability
tured in temporal simulations. The use of temporal simula- modes.
tions is also justified by the fact that despite their limitations, As in Stanley et al.,33 da Silva and Métais,34 and da Silva
they represent valid solutions to the Navier–Stokes equations and Pereira,36 a relatively high amplitude spectral noise was
added 共8%兲 to the mean profile defined by Eq. 共1兲 in order to
and are relevant since the goal of the present work is to
speed up the transition mechanism and allow the flow to
analyze those features of the entrainment mechanism that are
quickly reach a fully developed turbulent state. It is impor-
generally true in Navier–Stokes turbulence. Another justifi-
tant to stress that, as shown in previous works, the addition
cation comes from the fact that turbulent entrainment is
of a high H / ␪0 ratio and initial amplitude noise, although
mainly dominated by small scales, as shown by Mathew and favoring a faster transition to turbulence, does not affect the
Basu25 and Westerweel et al.26,29 Temporal DNSs of turbu- dynamics of the self-similar fully developed turbulent
lent flows were previously used to analyze the mechanics of state.33,34,36,44
the T/NT interface in plane wakes27,28 and in round jets.25,38 In the present work, we are interested in reaching a
slightly higher Reynolds number than in Ref. 36 and at the
B. Numerical method same time in having a resolution closer to the one used in
The numerical code used here is a standard pseudospec- isotropic turbulence, for which the optimal value is ⌬x / ␩
tral code 共collocation method39兲 in which the temporal ad- ⬇ 2.1 共Pope45兲 and which corresponds to having kmax␩ = 1.5,
vancement is made with an explicit third order Runge–Kutta where kmax is the maximum resolved wave number and ␩ is
time stepping scheme.40 The simulation was fully dealiased the Kolmogorov microscale. For this purpose in the present
by using the 23 rule.39 This code was used recently by the plane jet simulation, we use an initial Reynolds number
equal to ReH = 共U1 − U2兲H / ␯ = 3200,46 where H is the plane
authors in DNSs of turbulent plane jets described in da Silva
jet inlet slot width, and we reduce the extent of the compu-
and Pereira.36
tational box to 共Lx , Ly , Lz兲 = 共4H , 6H , 4H兲. The grid size con-
sists now in 共Nx ⫻ Ny ⫻ Nz兲 = 共256⫻ 384⫻ 256兲 grid points,
C. Physical and computational parameters
i.e., the number of grid points along the streamwise 共x兲 and
The DNS was started by using, as initial condition, an normal 共y兲 directions was retained from Ref. 36, while the
hyperbolic-tangent velocity profile, spanwise 共z兲 resolution was doubled. This was done in order

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055101-4 C. B. da Silva and J. C. F. Pereira Phys. Fluids 20, 055101 共2008兲

to improve the degree of convergence of the statistics over 5 <ΩiΩi/2>B


one single instantaneous field. Notice, however, that the grid <Ω2x/2>B
remains isotropic and we have ⌬x = ⌬y = ⌬z = 0.0156H in- 4 <Ω2y/2>B
stead of 0.02H as in Ref. 36. Finally, in order to further <Ω2z/2>B
reduce the time spent during the transition phase, the initial
3
H / ␪0 ratio was raised to H / ␪0 = 35.
It is important to ensure that the new computational box
size does not constrain the jet in its development and particu- 2
larly its spreading rate. Recall that the use of classical pseu-
dospectral schemes for spatial discretization implies that the 1
boundary conditions used here are periodic in the three spa-
tial directions. Concerning the box size in the streamwise
0
direction, it is important to ensure that the size of the com- 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
putational domain in this direction is big enough to allow for T/Tref
the development of the primary 共shear layer兲 Kelvin–
FIG. 2. 共Color online兲 Temporal evolution of the mean enstrophy and its
Helmholtz instability. Therefore, the box size has to be components for the present turbulent plane jet DNS.
greater than the Kelvin–Helmholtz instability length scale.
The Strouhal number of the primary Kelvin–Helmholtz in-
stability is equal to Ssl = f sl␪0 / UC = 0.033, where f sl is the fre- Helmholtz vortices, both at the upper and lower shear layers,
quency of the shear layer mode and UC = 0.5共U1 + U2兲 is the and is followed by the appearance of pairs of streamwise
convection velocity.47 Since the initial H / ␪0 ratio used here vortices connecting each two consecutive pairs of Kelvin–
is H / ␪0 = 35, the associated instability length scale is equal to Helmholtz rollers. Shortly after, the streamwise vortices
␭sl = ␪0 / Ssl = 0.87H. Thus, the box size in the streamwise di- break up into smaller structures with no preferential direc-
rection Lx = 4H is more than four times bigger than the tion, which is a sign of a fully developed turbulent stage.
Kelvin–Helmholtz instability length scale. Figure 2 shows the temporal evolution of the enstrophy
Concerning the normal direction, it is important to em- and its components averaged over the whole computational
phasize that numerous previous works have showed that domain. We denote these averages by 具 典B, e.g.,
there is no particular problem with the use of periodic
boundary conditions provided that the box size is big enough
共see da Silva and Métais34 and Mathew and Basu25 and ref-
冓 冔⍀2x 共t兲
2 B
=
1
N
x yN zN
⍀2x
兺 兺 兺 共x,y,z,t兲.
NxNyNz i=1 j=1 k=1 2
共2兲

erences therein兲. The box size along the normal direction


As in Ref. 36, these curves show an increase until T / Tref
used here is Ly = 6H. This is the same lateral size used in the
⬇ 20, where Tref = H / 关2共U1 − U2兲兴, followed by a decrease at
simulations of Mathew and Basu.25 As shown in numerous
a more or less constant rate.
visualizations, including the one shown below in Fig. 5, the
The coherent structures of the flow were visualized by
contours that delimit the T/NT interface are on average at a
using the “Q criteria”13,14 and the pressure field. From
distance of more than 1.5H from the normal box boundaries.
T / Tref ⬇ 15 onward these structures are qualitatively similar
This is more than the distance used in previous numerical
to the ones shown in Figs. 2共a兲 and 2共b兲 from Ref. 36, i.e.,
simulations used to analyze the turbulent entrainment, e.g.,
the small scale structures, which are more easily visualized
Mathew and Basu25 had less than 1D 共D is the jet diameter兲,
through positive values of Q, do not show the existence of
and this still posed no problems. Moreover, all the one point
any particular spatial orientation, whereas the low pressure
statistics obtained in the present simulation are in excellent
isosurfaces, which highlight the bigger structures, still show
agreement with the results from previous experimental and
remnants of the Kelvin–Helmholtz rollers 共as in Ref. 36,
numerical works 共see below兲. Thus, the lateral extent or
there is, of course, some overlap between the structures from
boundary conditions in the normal direction do not influence
the two visualization criteria—see Dubief and Delcayre15兲.
the plane jet development. Finally, concerning the box size
The self-similar regime is obtained at T / Tref ⬇ 20 共against
in the spanwise direction, we now have Lz = 4H. This
T / Tref ⬇ 30 in Ref. 36兲, which corresponds to an equivalent
is larger than any of the spanwise box sizes used in the streamwise location of x / H = 共U1 − U2兲共T / H兲 = T / 共2Tref兲 = 10.
spatial or temporal simulations cited above, and since the
Recall that in the spatial simulations of Stanley et al.33 and
length scales, of the secondary 共spanwise兲 instabilities are
da Silva and Métais,34 x / H = 10 marked also the beginning of
smaller than the primary instabilities 共estimated above as
the self-similar regime. Finally, at this station, the Reynolds
␭sl = 0.87H兲, with Lz = 4H, the box size used in the present
number based on the Taylor microscale ␭ and on the root
simulation is indeed sufficient.
mean square of the streamwise velocity u⬘ is equal to
Re␭ = u⬘␭ / ␯ ⬇ 120 across the shear layer.
D. DNS assessment
Figures 3共a兲–3共d兲 show one point statistics for the plane
The scenario of transition to turbulence is very similar to jet DNS. The statistics were obtained with a single instanta-
the one described in previous numerical simulations, e.g., neous field from the self-similar region where spatial aver-
Stanley et al.33 da Silva and Métais,34 and da Silva and aging in the two homogeneous directions 共x and z兲 was fol-
Pereira,36 and is characterized by the emergence of Kelvin– lowed by “folding” of the mean profiles in relation to the jet

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055101-5 Invariants of the velocity-gradient, rate-of-strain, and rate-of-rotation tensors Phys. Fluids 20, 055101 共2008兲

Gutmark 1976
Ramparian 1985 0.5 Gutmark 1976
Stanley 2002 Ramparian 1985
1 Thomas 1991
da Silva 2002 0.4 Stanley 2001
da Silva 2004 da Silva 2002
0.8

<u’2(y)>1/2/UC
Present work da Silva 2004
<u(y)>/UC
0.3 Present work
0.6
0.2
0.4

0.1
0.2

0 0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3
y/δ0.5 y/δ0.5
(a) (b)

0.5 0.5
Gutmark 1976
Ramparian 1985
0.4 Thomas 1991
0.4 Gutmark 1976
Stanley 2001

<w’2(y)>1/2/UC
Stanley 2001
<v’ (y)> /UC

da Silva 2002 da Silva 2002


0.3 da Silva 2004 0.3 da Silva 2004
1/2

Present work Present work

0.2 0.2
2

0.1 0.1

0 0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3
y/δ0.5 y/δ0.5
(c) (d)
FIG. 3. 共Color online兲 Profiles of several one point statistics at the self-similar region from the present temporal plane jet direct numerical simulation 共present
work兲 compared to the experimental results from Gutmark and Wygnansky 共Ref. 50兲, Ramparian and Chandrasekhara 共Ref. 51兲, and Thomas and Prakash
共Ref. 52兲 and with the DNSs of Stanley et al. 共Ref. 33兲, da Silva and Métais 共Ref. 34兲, and da Silva and Pereira 共Ref. 36兲: 共a兲 Mean streamwise velocity, 共b兲
streamwise Reynolds stresses, 共c兲 normal Reynolds stresses, and 共d兲 spanwise Reynolds stresses. Uc is the streamwise mean centerline velocity and ␦U is the
half-width of the jet.

centerline 共y = 0兲 to take advantage of the symmetry of the da Silva and Pereira.36 Although the scatter between the ex-
jet. We denote these averages by 具 典, periments and computations is high, the mean streamwise
x z N N velocity profile and Reynolds stress profiles from the present
1 1
具u共y兲典 = 具u共y,t兲典 = 兺 兺
NxNz i=1 k=1 2
关u共x,y,z,t兲 DNS agree with the data available well.
Figures 4共a兲 and 4共b兲 show the spatial three-dimensional
kinetic energy and kinetic energy dissipation spectra, respec-
+ u共x,− y,z,t兲兴. 共3兲
tively, at several instants. The kinetic energy spectrum has a
Due to the relatively small number of samples obtained for −5 / 3 region followed by a smooth decay at high wave num-
each y coordinate 共2Nx ⫻ Nz = 131 072兲, the mean profiles bers. Notice that the product of the maximum resolved wave
show some wiggles. This limitation is a well known feature number to the Kolmogorov microscale is kmax␩ ⬇ 1.5. That
of temporal simulations and similar wiggles can be found the dissipative scales are indeed being well resolved is at-
also in the mean profiles from temporal simulations of tested by the small upturns at the end of the wave number
mixing layers,48 wakes,49 and round jets.50 Although the de- range. The dissipation spectrum shown in Fig. 4共b兲 peaks at
gree of convergence of the statistics is not perfect, they k␩ ⬇ 0.3, which marks the start of the dissipation region. The
nevertheless allow a comparison to results from experimental shape and magnitudes of these spectra are very similar to the
and numerical works from the literature. In Figs. 3共a兲–3共d兲, ones obtained by Akhavan et al.,35 also in temporal simula-
the present results are compared to experimental results tions of turbulent plane jets, with similar resolution and simi-
from Gutmark and Wygnansky,50 Ramparian and lar Reynolds number based on the Taylor microscale. Addi-
Chandrasekhara,51 and Thomas and Prakash,52 and the tional resolution tests are given in Appendix A.
DNSs, from Stanley et al.,33 da Silva and Métais,34 and These results show that the present DNS is both accu-

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055101-6 C. B. da Silva and J. C. F. Pereira Phys. Fluids 20, 055101 共2008兲

T/Tref=11.2 3
10
8 T/Tref=14.4 Ω=0.7(U1/H)
T/Tref=17.3
106 T/Tref=20.2 2
T/Tref=23.6
4 T/Tref=27.1
5 1/4
10
E(k)/(εν ) T/Tref=30.8 1
T/Tref=34.9
102 (-5/3)

y/H
10
0 0
-2
10 -1
10-4 -1 0
10 kη 10 -2
(a)
T/Tref=11.2 -3
101 T/Tref=14.4 -2 -1 0 1 2
T/Tref=17.3
T/Tref=20.2
x/H
T/Tref=23.6
T/Tref=27.1 FIG. 5. 共Color online兲 Contours of vorticity modulus corresponding to
2νk2E(k)/(εν)3/4

T/Tref=30.8 ⍀ = 0.7U1 / H in the 共x , y兲 plane of the jet at T / Tref = 27.


T/Tref=34.9
100

bling and also the original coordinate system 共x , y兲 used in


the numerical simulation of the turbulent plane jet.
10
-1
-1 0
Since the plane jet is homogeneous in the streamwise 共x兲
10 10
kη and spanwise 共z兲 directions, each 共x , y兲 plane is indepen-
(b)
dently treated. Consider the upper shear layer depicted in
FIG. 4. 共Color online兲 Three-dimensional 共spatial兲 kinetic energy and ki- Fig. 6. The procedure starts with the determination of the
netic energy dissipation spectra from the plane jet DNS at several instants: T/NT interface envelope location Y I共x兲, for each one of the
共a兲 Kinetic energy spectrum and 共b兲 kinetic energy dissipation spectrum.
Nx grid points in the original coordinate system along the x
direction. Y I共x兲 is obtained through a linear interpolation
along the y direction, using the vorticity norm threshold in-
rate, at the large and small scales, and representative of a
dicated above to detect the T/NT interface.
fully developed turbulent plane jet. This completes the vali-
In order to make conditional statistics in relation to the
dation of the turbulent plane jet DNS.
location of the interface envelope, we start by defining a new
local coordinate system 共xI , y I兲 with the lines tangent 共xI兲 and
III. DATA BANK DESCRIPTION normal 共y I兲, respectively, to the interface envelope 共see Fig.
A. Detection algorithm for the T/NT interface 6兲. In this new coordinate system, the T/NT interface is ex-
actly at 共xI , y I兲 = 共0 , 0兲.
The T/NT interface can be defined by using either the After the determination of the interface envelope Y I共x兲,
vorticity norm ⍀ = 共⍀i⍀i兲1/2, where ⍀i is the vorticity field as one determines the coordinates of the axis line y I, from the
in Bisset et al.,27,28 or using a passive scalar or concentration new 共local兲 coordinate system 共xI , y I兲, in the old coordinate
field as in Westerweel et al.26,29 The vorticity norm was used system 共x , y兲. Notice that this line is normal to the envelope
in the present work, where it was observed that the detection for each one of the Nx grid points along the x direction.
threshold of ⍀ = 0.7U1 / H best delineated the vortical Along both sides of this y I axis line 共for y I ⬎ 0 and y I ⬍ 0兲,
regions. This is exactly the same value used by Bisset et al.28 we define NI = 80 points, starting at y I = 0 and equally spaced
and a similar level was used by Mathew and Basu.25
Figure 5 shows contours of vorticity modulus corresponding
to this detection threshold in an 共x , y兲 plane of the jet at
T / Tref = 27. As in previous works, it can be seen that the
T/NT interface is strongly contorted and some irrotational
fluid is engulfed.
In the present work, we analyze conditional statistics in
relation to the location of the interface envelope by using a
procedure similar to the one described in previous works,
e.g., Bisset et al.27,28 and Westerweel et al.26,29
A detailed description of this procedure is given here
with the aid of a sketch shown in Fig. 6. The sketch repre-
sents the T/NT interface separating the T from the irrota- FIG. 6. 共Color online兲 Sketch of the T/NT interface for the plane jet indi-
tional or NT flow regions, at the upper shear layer of the cating the vorticity surface 共solid line兲 and the interface envelope 共gray
plane jet. The vorticity surface defined by the selected dashed lines兲. The sketch also shows the coordinate system used in the
computation of the plane jet 共x , y兲 and the one used to analyze the T/NT
threshold is indicated by a solid line, while the T/NT inter-
interface 共xI , y I兲. In particular, the coordinate of the interface envelope is
face envelope is represented by gray dashed lines. The sketch denoted by Y I. The three holes represent regions of irrotational fluid inside
depicts events of large scale engulfment and small scale nib- the turbulent region.

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055101-7 Invariants of the velocity-gradient, rate-of-strain, and rate-of-rotation tensors Phys. Fluids 20, 055101 共2008兲

with a distance equal to the mesh spacing ⌬x. For instance,


the coordinates of these points in the turbulent region are
given by 共xI , y I兲 = 关0 , y I共l兲兴 = 关0 , 共l − 1兲⌬x兴 with l = 1, NI. This
defines a total of 2 ⫻ NI − 1 = 159 grid coordinates for the axis
y I, which will be used to describe the mean conditional sta- 1

PDF
tistical profiles. Then, for each coordinate y I, the mean con-
ditional profile of a given flow variable P共x , y , z , t兲, in the
upper shear layer, for the plane 共x , y兲 corresponding to z = Z
and at time t = T is obtained through
N
1 L y
具P共y I兲典IUp = 兺 P̄ I共x,y,z = Z,t = T兲,
NL l=1
共4兲
0
-2 -1 0
YI/H
where P̄yI共x , y , z = Z , t = T兲 is the value of P共x , y , z , t兲 interpo-
lated into the point 共xI , y I兲 = 共0 , y I兲 in the plane 共x , y , z = Z兲 FIG. 7. 共Color online兲 PDF of the vertical distance of the T/NT interface Y I
and at time t = T. A simple bilinear interpolation is used for for the lower shear layer.
this purpose. NL is the total number of samples used to make
the conditional mean for a given coordinate y I. The maxi-
mum possible value for NL is NL = Nx; however, during the ⯝2 ⫻ NT ⫻ Nx ⫻ Nz ⬇ 1.4⫻ 106. This is more than enough to
computation of the mean conditional profile defined in Eq. obtain well converged statistics of the quantities in study in
共4兲, all points inside “holes” of “ambient fluid” that appear in this work.
the jet, such as the three holes represented in Fig. 6, are With this procedure, conditional statistics of any flow
removed from the statistical sample. quantity can be made in relation to the distance from the
The procedure just described is also used for the lower T/NT interface. We denote these conditional interface statis-
shear layer and the resulting profiles are averaged in the end. tics by 具 典I to differentiate them from the spatial statistics
Thus, the maximum number of samples used to make a con- done along the homogeneous directions of the plane jet,
ditional mean for a given coordinate point y I in a given 共x , y兲 which are denoted by 具 典, and from the spatial statistics done
plane is then equal to 2 ⫻ Nx. The same procedure is used in the whole computational box, which we denote by 具 典B.
for each one of the 共x , y兲 planes available and the final result Figure 7 shows the PDF of the interface distance from
is once again averaged over all the existing Nz planes. The the center of the jet Y I for the lower shear layer 共nondimen-
maximum possible number of samples corresponding to a sionalized by H兲. The mean, variance, skewness, and flatness
single instantaneous field is then equal to 2 ⫻ Nx ⫻ Nz of the interface distance are 具Y I / H典 = −1.14, 具共Y I / H兲⬘2典
= 131 072. = 0.12, 具共Y I / H兲⬘3典 / 具共Y I / H兲⬘2典3/2 = 0.09, and 具共Y I / H兲⬘4典
Finally, to further improve the degree of convergence of / 具共Y I / H兲⬘2典2 = 2.95, respectively. As can be seen by the shape
the conditional statistics, several instantaneous fields taken of the PDF and by these values, the PDF of Y I / H is near
from the fully developed turbulent regime were also used. Gaussian. The upper shear layer displays similar shapes and
Although the plane jet evolves in time and thus each instan- values 共the mean is, of course, positive 具Y I / H典 = + 1.16兲. Bis-
taneous field is, in its details, different from the others, se-
set et al.28 and Westerweel et al.26 also observed near Gauss-
lecting fields separated by a very small time interval reduces
ian PDFs of the vertical distance of the T/NT interface.
these differences. In particular, in the far field, self-similar,
fully developed turbulent regime, each instantaneous field is B. Conditional mean vorticity in relation
statistically equivalent. Here, we used NT = 11 instantaneous to the distance from the interface position
fields taken from T / Tref = 20.2 to T / Tref = 27.0. As can be seen
in the kinetic energy and kinetic energy dissipation spectra Figure 8 shows conditional mean profiles of 具⍀典I,
shown in Figs. 4共a兲 and 4共b兲, there are no appreciable differ- 具兩⍀x兩典I, 具兩⍀y兩典I, 具兩⍀z兩典I, and 具⍀z典I 共nondimensionalized by
ences concerning these statistics for all the instantaneous U1 / H兲 in relation to the distance from the T/NT interface Y I,
fields from T / Tref = 20.2 to T / Tref = 27.0, a fact confirmed by which is nondimensionalized by the value of the Kolmog-
comparing the visualization of the fields from T / Tref = 20.2 orov microscale at the jet shear layer. The vorticity modulus
and T / Tref = 27.0. Thus, the use of these NT instantaneous shows a sharp transition from the irrotational to the turbulent
fields from the self-similar regime allows us to increase the zone, where it reaches a plateau with 具⍀典I ⬇ 4.5共U1 / H兲, and
total number of samples used in the conditional averages both 具⍀z典I and 具兩⍀z兩典I show a peak very close to the interface.
without “mixing” different regimes of the plane jet develop- The shape and magnitudes of these profiles are in very good
ment. agreement with the results of Bisset et al.27,28 and Wester-
Therefore, except for the data points which are removed weel et al.26,29
from the averaging procedure for being part of holes of irro- In the remainder of this work, the conditional mean pro-
tational fluid in the turbulent zone 共and likewise for being file of 具兩⍀z兩典I will be used as a reference to indicate several
islands of turbulent fluid in the irrotational zone兲, the total locations near the T/NT interface. Notice that in a plane jet,
number of samples used to make a conditional mean in this is the only nonzero mean vorticity component, i.e.,
relation to the distance from the T/NT interface is equal to 具⍀z共x , y , z兲典 = 具⍀z共y兲典 ⫽ 0, while 具⍀x共x , y , z兲典 = 具⍀y共x , y , z兲典

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055101-8 C. B. da Silva and J. C. F. Pereira Phys. Fluids 20, 055101 共2008兲

<Ω>I A. Definitions of the invariants and associated


6 <Ωz>I physical meanings
<|Ωx|>I
<|Ωy|>I The goal of this section is to review some of the back-
<|Ωz|>I ground material related to the invariants of the velocity gra-
dient, rate-of-strain, and rate-of-rotation tensors. Extensive
4 reviews of this material can be found in Chong et al.,1
Cantwell,3 Soria and Cantwell,16 Perry and Chong,4 Soria
et al.,8 Blackburn et al.,9 Ooi et al.,7 and Wang et al.20
The velocity gradient tensor Aij = ⳵ui / ⳵x j can be split into
2 a symmetric and a skew-symmetric component,
Aij = Sij + ⍀ij , 共5兲
where Sij = 21 共⳵ui / ⳵x j + ⳵u j / ⳵xi兲
and ⍀ij = 21 共⳵ui / ⳵x j − ⳵u j / ⳵xi兲
0
0 10 20 are the rate-of-strain and rate-of-rotation tensors, respec-
yI/η tively.
The velocity gradient tensor Aij has the following char-
FIG. 8. 共Color online兲 Mean conditional profiles of 具⍀典I, 具兩⍀x 兩 典I, 具兩⍀y 兩 典I, acteristic equation:
具兩⍀z 兩 典I, and 具⍀z典I 共all normalized by U1 / H兲.
␭3i + P␭2i + Q␭i + R = 0, 共6兲
where ␭i are the eigenvalues of Aij. The first, second, and
= 0. Moreover, as shown in Fig. 8, the gradient of this vor- third invariants of the velocity gradient tensor are
ticity component is slightly steeper than either 具兩⍀x兩典I or
P = − Aii = − Sii , 共7兲
具兩⍀y兩典I, which is in agreement with the predictions by
Reynolds32 共experimentally confirmed by Werterweel
Q = − 21 AijA ji = 41 共⍀i⍀i − 2SijSij兲, 共8兲
et al.26兲 since this component is connected with the existence
of a finite jump in the tangential velocity at the T/NT inter- and
face. However, it must be stressed that any other vorticity
component might be used instead, particularly since, as re-
R = − 31 AijA jkAki = − 1
3 共SijS jkSki + 43 ⍀i⍀ jSij兲 , 共9兲
marked by a referee, there is almost no difference between respectively, where ⍀i = ␧ijk⳵u j / ⳵xk is the vorticity field
the conditional mean profiles of the three vorticity compo- 共P = 0 in incompressible flow兲.
nents shown in Fig. 8. Finally, in the present work, three Similarly, the invariants of the rate-of-strain tensor are
particular locations in relation to the distance from the T/NT defined by its characteristic equation. The independent in-
interface will be frequently considered: y I / ␩ = 0.0, which is variants of Sij are
exactly at the T/NT interface, y I / ␩ = 1.7, which is close to the
point of maximum 具兩⍀z兩典I, and y I / ␩ = 8.6, which is already QS = − 21 SijSij 共10兲
well inside the turbulent zone. and
RS = − 31 SijS jkSki . 共11兲
IV. INVARIANTS OF THE VELOCITY GRADIENT, Finally, the only invariant of the rate-of-rotation tensor is
RATE-OF-STRAIN, AND RATE-OF-ROTATION
TENSORS ACROSS THE T/NT INTERFACE QW = 21 ⍀ij⍀ij = 41 ⍀i⍀i . 共12兲

In this section, the invariants of the velocity gradient, Notice that the invariants of Sij are obtained by setting
rate-of-strain, and rate-of-rotation tensors are used to study ⍀ij to zero in Eqs. 共8兲 and 共9兲, while the only invariant of ⍀ij
the dynamics, topology, and geometry of the flow during the is obtained by setting Sij to zero in Eq. 共8兲. It is important to
turbulent entrainment process. We start by recalling the defi- recall the physical meaning of these invariants 共see, e.g.,
nitions of the invariants, their relationships, and physical Soria et al.,8 Blackburn et al.,9 Wang et al.,20 and also
meanings 共Sec. IV A兲. The next sections successively ana- Davidson53兲.
lyze the geometry of the dissipation through the invariants Starting with QW = ⍀i⍀i / 4, note that this invariant is re-
QW and QS 共Sec. IV B兲, the geometry of the straining of the lated to the second invariants of Aij and Sij through QW = Q
fluid elements through the invariants QS and RS 共Sec. IV C兲, − QS. Therefore, QW is proportional to the enstrophy density
and, finally, the relation between the flow topology and the 共⍀2 / 2 = ⍀i⍀i / 2兲. Regions of intense enstrophy tend to be
production/dissipation of enstrophy by vortex stretching/ concentrated in tubelike structures in many turbulent flows
compression through the invariants Q and R 共Sec. IV D兲. The such as isotropic turbulence,54 mixing layers,55 and jets.41
analysis uses conditional mean profiles of the invariants in The second invariant of Sij, QS = −SijSij / 2, is propor-
relation to the distance from the T/NT interface, “trajecto- tional to the local rate of viscous dissipation of kinetic en-
ries” of these conditional mean values in their associated ergy since ␧ = 2␯S2 = −4␯QS, where S2 / 2 = SijSij / 2 is the
phase maps, and joint PDFs of the invariants at several dis- strain product. In isotropic turbulence, intense values of vis-
tances from the T/NT interface. cous dissipation tend to be concentrated in structures with

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055101-9 Invariants of the velocity-gradient, rate-of-strain, and rate-of-rotation tensors Phys. Fluids 20, 055101 共2008兲

the form of sheets or ribbons.56 On the other hand, the third Vortex Vortex
invariant of Sij, RS = −SijS jkSki / 3, is proportional to the strain stretching compression
skewness SijS jkSki. This invariant has two important physical DA>0
meanings. It appears as part of the production term in the
strain product transport equation,53

Q
冉 冊 DA=0 DA=0
D 1 1 ⳵2 p
SijSij = − SijS jkSki − ⍀i⍀ jSij − Sij
Dt 2 4 ⳵ x i⳵ x j DA<0
Tube Sheet
+ ␯Sijⵜ2Sij . 共13兲 structure structure
0
As can be seen, a positive value of RS is associated with the (a) R
production of strain product 共and thus of viscous dissipa-
tion兲, whereas RS ⬍ 0 implies a destruction of strain product. (Contraction) (Expansion)
Moreover, in can be shown that RS = −共␣3S + ␤3S + ␥3S兲 / 3 RS<0 RS>0
= −␣S␤S␥S, where ␣S ⱖ ␤S ⱖ ␥S are the three eigenvalues of Axisym.
Sij arranged in descending order. Due to incompressibility Axisym. expan.
contrac.
␣S + ␤S + ␥S = 0, therefore, RS ⬎ 0 implies that ␣S , ␤S ⬎ 0, DS=0
DS=0

QS
␥S ⬍ 0 and the associated flow structure is sheetlike. If
RS ⬍ 0, then ␣S ⬎ 0, ␤S , ␥S ⬍ 0, which implies a tubelike 1:1:-2
2:-1:-1
structure. 2:1:-3
Finally, the physical meaning of the invariants of 2D flow
3:1:-4
Aij depends on the sign of Q. If Q ⬎ 0, then the enstrophy 1:0:-1
共⍀2 / 2 = ⍀i⍀i / 2兲 dominates over strain product 共S2 / 2 0
= SijSij / 2兲, whereas if Q ⬍ 0, the opposite occurs. In a Bur- (b) RS
gers vortex flow, for instance, the center of the vortex is Vortex
characterized by Q ⬎ 0, while in the region around it, Q ⬍ 0, Irrotational sheets
implying that the strain product 共and hence viscous dissipa- dissipation
tion of kinetic energy兲 dominates. The meaning of R depends
on the sign of Q. If Q Ⰷ 0, then R ⬃ −⍀i⍀ jSij / 4 and R ⬍ 0
implies a predominance of vortex stretching over vortex
compression, and if R ⬎ 0, vortex compression dominates.
-QS

On the other hand, if Q Ⰶ 0, then R ⬃ −SijS jkSki / 3 = −␣S␤S␥S Vortex


and, therefore, R ⬎ 0 is associated with a sheetlike structure, QW=-QS tubes
whereas R ⬍ 0 is associated with a tubelike structure.
The invariants defined above are usually analyzed in 0
joint PDFs combining two invariants. The most common
0 QW
combinations consist on the maps of 共R , Q兲, 共RS , QS兲, and (c)
共QW , −QS兲. Figures 9共a兲–9共c兲 show sketches of each one of
these maps with the physical meaning associated with each FIG. 9. 共Color online兲 Sketch of the invariant maps of 共R , Q兲, 共RS , QS兲, and
共QW , −QS兲 with the physical/topological features associated with each zone:
particular location.
共a兲 共R , Q兲 map, 共b兲 共RS , QS兲 map, and 共c兲 共QW , −QS兲 map.
The 共R , Q兲 map 关Fig. 9共a兲兴 allows us to infer about the
relation between the local flow topology 共enstrophy or strain
dominated兲 and the enstrophy production term 共vortex
stretching or vortex compression兲 and associated geometry elements since RS = −␣S␤S␥S and ␣S + ␤S + ␥S = 0 due to in-
of the deformation of the fluid elements 共contraction or ex- compressibility. Defining the ratio of the second to the first
pansion兲. The line defined by the discriminant DA = 27/ 4RA2 eigenvalue of the rate-of-strain tensor a = ␤S / ␣S, each value
+ QA3 divides the map into two regions. If DA ⬎ 0, Eq. 共6兲 has of a represents a line in the 共RS , QS兲 map defined by
one real and two complex-conjugate roots, while if DA ⬍ 0,
RS = 共− QS兲3/2a共1 + a兲共1 + a + a2兲−3/2 , 共14兲
the equation has two real distinct roots. In many turbulent
flows, the 共R , Q兲 map displays a strong 共anti兲correlation be- where each line is associated with a given flow geometry:
tween R and Q in the region R ⬎ 0 , Q ⬍ 0 associated with ␣S : ␤S : ␥S = 2 : −1 : −1 共axisymmetric contraction兲, 1 : 0 : −1
sheetlike structures and also 共although not as strong兲 in the 共two-dimensional flow兲, 3 : 1 : −4 共biaxial stretching兲, and
region R ⬍ 0 , Q ⬎ 0 associated with a predominance of vor- 1 : 1 : −2 共axisymmetric stretching兲. The discriminant for the
tex stretching. This gives the 共R , Q兲 map its characteristic 共RS , QS兲 map is defined by the line DS = 27/ 4R2S + Q3S. Figure
teardrop shape that has been observed in a great variety of 9共b兲 shows a sketch of the 共RS , QS兲 map with several lines of
different turbulent flows such as isotropic turbulence,7 mix- constant a and their associated local flow geometry. More-
ing layers,8 and channel flows.9 over, since QS = −␧ / 4␯, large negative values of QS are asso-
The 共RS , QS兲 map is particularly useful to analyze the ciated with regions of intense kinetic energy dissipation. In
geometry of the local straining 共or deformation兲 of the fluid many turbulent flows, the 共RS , QS兲 map shows a strong pref-

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055101-10 C. B. da Silva and J. C. F. Pereira Phys. Fluids 20, 055101 共2008兲

of the rate-of-rotation tensor QW = ⍀ij⍀ij / 2. As expected, the


8 <|Ωz|>I mean profile of this invariant 具QW典I is similar to the evolu-
<QS>I
<RS>I tion of the conditional mean profile of 具⍀典I shown before in
<QW>I Fig. 8, i.e., this invariant, like the vorticity modulus, is neg-
4
ligible in the irrotational flow region y I / ␩ ⬍ 0 and steeply
rises once the T/NT interface has been crossed at y I / ␩ = 0. In
0 the turbulent region y I / ␩ ⬎ 0, 具QW典I like 具⍀典I is high and
more or less constant, in agreement with Corrsin and
-4 Kistler,21 and with the recent numerical simulations of Bisset
et al.28 and the experimental results of Westerweel et al.26,29
The first interesting observation comes from the condi-
-8 tional mean profile of 具QS典I. This invariant is negligible in
-10 0 10
yI/η the irrotational flow region and far away from the T/NT
interface, y I / ␩ ⬍ −8. However, 具QS典I begins to increase
FIG. 10. 共Color online兲 Conditional mean profiles in relation to the distance
from the T/NT interface for the invariants of the rate-of-strain tensor 具QS典I
共in modulus兲 in the irrotational region from y I / ␩ ⬎ −8 on-
and 具RS典I and rate-of-rotation tensor 具QW典I. The conditional mean profile ward until very close to the T/NT interface, at y I / ␩ ⬇ −1.7,
具兩⍀z 兩 典I is also shown and the symbols mark three particular locations: 共䊊兲 the invariant 具QS典I displays values of the order of
y I / ␩ = 0 共T/NT interface兲, 共䊐兲 y I / ␩ = 1.7 共point of maximum 具兩⍀z 兩 典I兲, and 具QS典I ⬇ −0.2共U1 / H兲2. Since 具QS典I = −具SijSij典I / 2 is propor-
共〫兲 y I / ␩ = 8.6 共well inside the turbulent region兲.
tional to the dissipation rate, this means that non-negligible
viscous dissipation of kinetic energy occurs in the irrota-
tional flow region near the T/NT interface. At first sight, this
erence for the zone RS ⬎ 0 , QS ⬍ 0, indicating a predomi- result seems surprising. How can it be that viscous dissipa-
nance of sheet structures. The most probable geometry ob- tion of kinetic energy takes place in regions with almost no
served in several turbulent flows corresponds to a geometry vorticity? More work on this subject has to be done in order
of 3 : 1 : −4 or 2 : 1 : −3.7–9,12 to understand this mechanism. What can be said, however, is
Finally, the 共QW , −QS兲 map 关Fig. 9共c兲兴 is useful to ana- that this result is consistent with the existence of irrotational
lyze the topology associated with the dissipation of kinetic velocity fluctuations and Reynolds stresses outside the turbu-
energy. The horizontal line QW = ⍀ij⍀ij / 2 represents points lent region near the T/NT interface, as observed by Wester-
with high enstrophy but very small dissipation as in the solid weel et al.26 The origin of this viscous dissipation in the
body rotation at the center of a vortex tube 共“vortex tubes”兲. irrotational region is analyzed in Appendix B following a
On the other hand, the vertical line −QS = SijSij / 2 represents remark made by a referee. Non-negligible values of the strain
points with high dissipation but little enstrophy density. product 共and thus of kinetic energy dissipation兲 have been
Thus, it represents points of strong dissipation outside and recently observed by Holzner et al.31 outside the turbulent
away from the vortex tubes 共“irrotational dissipation”兲. The region and close to the T/NT interface in experimental results
line making 45° with the vertical and horizontal lines, QW from a turbulent front generated by an oscillating grid.
= −QS, represents points of both high dissipation and high Returning to Fig. 10, we notice that once the T/NT in-
enstrophy density, as occurs in vortex sheet structures. In terface is crossed, 具QS典I increases 共in modulus兲 at a faster
compressible mixing layers, it has been shown that the rate than it did before in −8 ⬍ y I / ␩ ⬍ 0 and reaches a more or
smallest scale motions associated with the highest local val- less constant turbulent value of 具QS典I ⬇ −7共U1 / H兲2 from
ues of dissipation 共but with relatively small amounts of the y I / ␩ ⬎ 5 onward. It is interesting to see that the viscous dis-
total dissipation兲 tend to be aligned with the QW = −QS line.8 sipation of kinetic energy, i.e., −4␯具QS典I, needs more time
However, generally, the regions of high dissipation are not than the enstrophy density, which is proportional to 具QW典I, to
correlated with regions of concentrated enstrophy.7–9 reach its turbulent value. Indeed, we see that after y I / ␩ = 0,
the transition into the fully developed turbulent state is faster
B. Analysis of the invariants QW and QS for 具QW典I than for 具QS典I: 具QS典I needs the space between
across the T/NT interface
0 ⬍ y I / ␩ ⬍ 5 to reach its turbulent value, while 具QW典I reaches
In this section, we investigate the second invariants of its peak at about y I / ␩ ⬇ 2.5. This suggests that the mecha-
the rate-of-strain and rate-of-rotation tensors QW and QS near nism of viscous dissipation needs more time to start working
the T/NT interface in order to analyze the geometry of the to its fullest than other physical mechanisms driving the
dissipation. Conditional mean profiles of the invariants in growth of vorticity during the turbulent entrainment process.
relation to the distance from the T/NT interface are shown in Figures 11共a兲 and 11共b兲 show the “trajectory” of the
Fig. 10 共the invariant 具RS典I is also shown兲. The conditional mean values of 具QW典I and 具−QS典I in their associated phase
mean profile of the vorticity component 具兩⍀z兩典I is also shown map. The mean values of the invariants taken from the irro-
and the symbols mark three particular locations: y I / ␩ = 0.0 tational region are represented by solid triangles, while solid
共T/NT interface兲, y I / ␩ = 1.7 共point of maximum of 具兩⍀z兩典I兲, inverted triangles represent points from the turbulent region.
and y I / ␩ = 8.6 共deep inside the turbulent region兲. The trajectories connecting the mean values are represented
As can be seen, all the invariants display quick changes by a solid line 共irrotational region兲 and a dashed line 共turbu-
near the interface, as does 具兩⍀z兩典I. We start with the invariant lent region兲. Again, the symbols mark three particular loca-

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055101-11 Invariants of the velocity-gradient, rate-of-strain, and rate-of-rotation tensors Phys. Fluids 20, 055101 共2008兲

2
1
1.5 QW=-QS
0.8

<-QS>I
1

-QS/<SijSij>
0.6
0.5
Irrotational
Turbulent 0.4
0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2
<QW>I
(a) 0.2

8 0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
6 QW=-QS QW/<SijSij>
(a)
<-QS>I

2 1
Irrotational
Turbulent
0 0.8
0 2 4 6 8
<QW>I

-QS/<SijSij>
(b)
0.6
FIG. 11. 共Color online兲 Trajectories of the conditional mean values of the
second invariants of the rate-of-rotation tensor 具QW典I and rate-of-strain ten-
0.4
sor 具QS典I in their associated phase map for 共a兲 0 ⬍ 具QW典I ⬍ 2 and
0 ⬍ 具−QS典I ⬍ 2 and 共b兲 0 ⬍ 具QW典I ⬍ 9 and 0 ⬍ 具−QS典I ⬍ 9. The solid line and
solid triangles indicate points in the irrotational region y I / ␩ 艋 0, while the 0.2
dashed line and solid inverted triangles indicate points in the turbulent re-
gion y I / ␩ ⬎ 0. The symbols mark 共䊊兲 y I / ␩ = 0, 共䊐兲 y I / ␩ = 1.7, and 共〫兲
0
y I / ␩ = 8.6. 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
QW/<SijSij>
(b)
tions: y I / ␩ = 0.0 共T/NT interface兲, y I / ␩ = 1.7 共具兩⍀z兩典I maxi-
1
mum兲, and y I / ␩ = 8.6 共deep inside the turbulent region兲. In
the irrotational region, the mean values of the invariants are
0.8
near the vertical line defined by 具QW典I = 0. This line marks
-QS/<SijSij>

flow points with high dissipation but little enstrophy; thus,


0.6
the mean geometry of the dissipation at the T/NT interface is
characterized by irrotational dissipation. The interface region
0.4
is crossed at 具QW典I ⬇ 0.2 and 具−QS典I ⬇ 1.4. After this, the flow
topology detaches from the vertical line 具QW典I = 0 and ap- 0.2
proaches the line 具QW典I = 具−QS典I, indicating a predominance
of vortex sheets in the flow inside the turbulent region. Its 0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
interesting to see how the mean flow topology moves in the
QW/<SijSij>
共QW , −QS兲 phase map as the flows goes from the T/NT inter-
(c)
face into the point of maximum 具兩⍀z兩典I. It starts to be roughly
at the middle of the lines 具QW典I = 0 and 具QW典I = 具−QS典I, before FIG. 12. 共Color online兲 Joint PDFs of QW and −QS at 共a兲 y I / ␩ = 0, 共b兲
turning into the region between the lines 具QW典I = 具−QS典I and y I / ␩ = 1.7, and 共c兲 y I / ␩ = 8.6. The contour levels are 0.01, 0.03, 0.1, 0.3, 1, 3,
10, and 30.
具−QS典I = 0. This may imply a mixed tendency for irrotational
dissipation and vortex sheets, followed by a mixed tendency
for vortex sheets and vortex tubes. After the point of
maximum 具兩⍀z兩典I has been crossed, at 共QW , −QS兲 ⬇ 共7.5, 5.0兲, interface, for all the scales of motion. Notice that the prob-
the mean flow topology falls suddenly into the line ability of having points with QW / 具SijSij典 ⬎ 0.14 is virtually
具QW典I = 具−QS典I. zero, i.e., virtually all the points from the T/NT interface are
Figures 12共a兲–12共c兲 show joint PDFs of 共QW , −QS兲 at the associated with irrotational dissipation, a fact that was al-
three particular locations used before: y I / ␩ = 0.0, 1.7, and ready observed for the “mean” values of this invariant map.
8.6. Following common practice, the invariants were nondi- As described in the previous section, the large scale flow
mensionalized with 具SijSij典. At the T/NT interface y I / ␩ = 0.0, vortices are characterized by near solid body rotation with
the joint PDF of 共QW , −QS兲 shows a marked tendency to be little dissipation. Thus, the shape of this joint PDF suggests
aligned with the vertical line defined by QW = 0, which attests the total absence of large scale vortex tubes at the T/NT
a strong predominance of dissipation 共strain product兲 over interface. This result is not surprising considering that these
enstrophy, i.e., irrotational dissipation dominates at the T/NT tube structures need some time to be generated and also

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055101-12 C. B. da Silva and J. C. F. Pereira Phys. Fluids 20, 055101 共2008兲

some room to occupy. At the point of maximum 具兩⍀z兩典I, 0


y I / ␩ = 1.7 as in deep inside the turbulent zone y I / ␩ = 8.6, the Irrotational
Turbulent
shape of the joint PDFs is quite similar and resembles the -0.5
shape of the joint PDFs obtained in isotropic turbulence by
Ooi et al.7 and in a turbulent channel flow by Blackburn

<QS>I
-1
et al.9 Notice that here, for the contour lines associated with
the most frequent values 共and with the scales responsible for
the bulk of the dissipation兲, there is still some tendency of -1.5 2:1:-3
the lines to be aligned with the vertical line QW = 0; however,
the most intense values, associated with rare events at the 3:1:-4 1:1:-2
-2
smallest scales of motion 共but with a relatively small amount 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
<RS>I
of dissipation兲 seem to be aligned with the horizontal line (a)
−QS = 0 associated with vortex tubes. Indeed, as in Ooi
et al.,7 the contour lines of intense values of QW are slightly 0
Irrotational
skewed toward the axis −QS = 0, which suggests that intense Turbulent
values of QW correspond to much smaller values of −QS, i.e., -2
the high QW regions are associated with solid body rotation 2:-1:-1
with little energy dissipation. This suggests that at both
-4
y I / ␩ = 1.7 and y I / ␩ = 8.6, the flow already has some of its

<QS>I
2:1:-3
characteristic large scale coherent vortices. However, since
QW and −QS are related to local 共not global兲 features of the -6 1:1:-2
flow, the examination of the coherent vortices in relation to 3:1:-4
the distance from the T/NT interface should be addressed 1:0:-1
-8
carefully in a future study. Finally, notice that in contrast to 0 5 10
<RS>I
the mean values of these invariants shown before in Fig. 11, (b)
there is here no discernible tendency for an alignment along
the line, QW = −QS, associated with vortex sheet structures. FIG. 13. 共Color online兲 Trajectories of the conditional mean values of the
invariants of the rate-of-strain tensors 具RS典I and 具QS典I in their associated
This implies that in this case, the mean result obtained before phase map for 共a兲 0 ⬍ 具RS典I ⬍ 1 and −2 ⬍ 具QS典I ⬍ 0 and 共b兲 0 ⬍ 具RS典I ⬍ 10 and
in the 共QW , −QS兲 phase map is just a consequence of the −8 ⬍ 具QS典I ⬍ 0. The solid line and solid triangles indicate points in the irro-
averaging procedure, i.e., there is no clear tendency for the tational region y I / ␩ 艋 0, while the dashed line and solid inverted triangles
flow to be dominated by vortex sheet structures. The results indicate points in the turbulent region y I / ␩ ⬎ 0. The symbols mark three
particular locations: 共䊊兲 y I / ␩ = 0 共T/NT interface兲, 共䊐兲 y I / ␩ = 1.7 共point of
point instead to a topology inside the turbulent region where maximum 具兩⍀z 兩 典I兲, and 共〫兲 y I / ␩ = 8.6 共well inside the turbulent region兲.
both vortex tubes, vortex sheets, and zones of irrotational
dissipation exist.
Figures 13共a兲 and 13共b兲 show the trajectory of the mean
C. Analysis of the invariants QS and RS values of 具QS典I and 具RS典I in their associated phase map.
across the T/NT interface Again, the mean values of the invariants taken from the ir-
rotational region are represented by solid triangles, while
In this section, we investigate the second and third in- solid inverted triangles represent points from the turbulent
variants of the rate-of-strain tensor QS and RS near the T/NT region. The trajectories connecting the mean values are rep-
interface in order to analyze the geometry of straining of the resented by a solid line 共irrotational region兲 and a dashed line
fluid elements. Conditional mean profiles of these invariants 共turbulent region兲, and the symbols mark the T/NT interface,
in relation to the distance from the T/NT interface were the point of maximum 具兩⍀z兩典I, and a location placed deep
shown before in Fig. 10 with the conditional mean profile of inside the turbulent region. In the entire flow region, we see
the vorticity component 具兩⍀z兩典I and the symbols marking that the invariants are in the region 具RS典I ⬎ 0 and 具QS典I ⬍ 0,
three particular locations: y I / ␩ = 0.0, 1.7, and 8.6. i.e., the mean flow geometry is associated with the expansion
The evolution of the mean invariant 具QS典I was already of the fluid elements. In the irrotational region, the mean
analyzed in Sec. IV B. As for the invariant 具RS典I, one can see flow topology is 3 : 1 : −4 and changes to 2 : 1 : −3 between the
that it is negligible for y I / ␩ ⬍ 0, which implies that the ob- T/NT interface and the point of maximum 具兩⍀z兩典I. Shortly
served growth of viscous dissipation observed in that region before the point of maximum 具兩⍀z兩典I, the flow geometry turns
is not caused by the strain product production term −SijS jkSki again into 3 : 1 : −4, where it stays some time. Finally, the
关see Eq. 共13兲兴. Indeed, 具RS典I starts to grow only after the mean flow topology becomes somewhere in the middle of
T/NT interface has been crossed. Notice that like 具QS典I, it these two lines, i.e., near 25 : 1 : − 27 . Recall that the most
seems that 具RS典I needs more time to reach its turbulent value probable eigenvalue ratios observed in several works are
of 具RS典I ⬇ 6.5共U1 / H兲3 than the enstrophy. Finally, note that 3 : 1 : −4 and 2 : 1 : −3.
throughout the flow 共including the irrotational region where Figures 14共a兲–14共c兲 show joint PDFs of 共RS , QS兲 at the
具RS典I is very small兲, we always have 具RS典I ⬎ 0, implying that three particular locations used before: y I / ␩ = 0.0, 1.7, and
the mean flow structure is always sheetlike. 8.6. The three joint PDFs are not fundamentally different,

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055101-13 Invariants of the velocity-gradient, rate-of-strain, and rate-of-rotation tensors Phys. Fluids 20, 055101 共2008兲

0 4
<|Ωz|>I
<Q>I
<R>I
QS/<SijSij>
-0.5 2
1:1:-2

2:1:-3
-1 2:-1:-1
0
1:0:-1 3:1:-4
-0.5 0 0.5
(a) RS/<SijSij>3/2
-2
-10 0 10
yI/η
0
FIG. 15. 共Color online兲 Conditional mean profiles in relation to the distance
from the T/NT interface for the invariants of the velocity gradient tensor
具Q典I and 具R典I. The conditional mean profile 具兩⍀z 兩 典I is also shown and the
symbols mark 共䊊兲 y I / ␩ = 0, 共䊐兲 y I / ␩ = 1.7, and 共〫兲 y I / ␩ = 8.6.
QS/<SijSij>

-0.5
1:1:-2
D. Analysis of the invariants Q and R
2:1:-3 across the T/NT interface
-1 2:-1:-1
This section analyzes the second and third invariants of
1:0:-1 3:1:-4
the velocity gradient tensor Q and R near the T/NT interface
-0.5 0 0.5
RS/<SijSij>3/2 in order to analyze the relation between the flow topology
(b) and dynamics. Conditional mean profiles of the invariants in
relation to the distance from the T/NT interface are shown
in Fig. 15. The conditional mean profile of the vorticity
0
component 具兩⍀z兩典I is also shown and the symbols mark
y I / ␩ = 0.0, 1.7, and 8.6.
The invariant Q = 共⍀i⍀i − 2SijSij兲 / 4 shows that in the ir-
QS/<SijSij>

-0.5 rotational flow region, 具Q典I ⬇ 具QS典I ⬍ 0, as expected since in


1:1:-2 this region there is virtually no vorticity and, therefore, the
evolution of 具Q典I is dominated by the increase of strain prod-
2:1:-3 uct 共and viscous dissipation兲 described before. 具Q典I reaches a
-1 2:-1:-1
minimum of 具Q典I ⬇ −1.3共U1 / H兲2 at y I / ␩ = 0.5 shortly after
1:0:-1 3:1:-4 the T/NT interface 具Q典I begins to grow and becomes positive
-0.5 0 0.5 at y I / ␩ ⬇ 1.2, implying that from that point onward the en-
(c) RS/<SijSij>3/2
strophy density dominates over strain product. Recall that the
strain product 共and thus viscous dissipation兲 increases at a
FIG. 14. 共Color online兲 Joint PDFs of RS and QS at 共a兲 y I / ␩ = 0, 共b兲
smaller rate than the vorticity 共and enstrophy density兲 in the
y I / ␩ = 1.7, and 共c兲 y I / ␩ = 8.6. The contour levels are the same as in Fig. 12.
region 0 ⬍ y I / ␩ ⬍ 5. This invariant attains a maximum at
about y I / ␩ ⬇ 2.5 共shortly after the maximum of 具兩⍀z兩典I兲, be-
fore falling to 具Q典I ⬇ 0 for y I / ␩ ⬎ 8. Notice that 具Q典 = 0 in
isotropic turbulence and, as shown by da Silva and Pereira,36
i.e., all show a clear preference for the region RS ⬎ 0 and and also as confirmed in the present work, the plane jet is, in
QS ⬍ 0 associated with extensive straining of the fluid ele- many ways, close to isotropic at the center of the shear layer.
ments, although contractive straining also exists at some The evolution of 具Q典I just described underlines the interplay
共much fewer兲 points. The alignments of the contour lines of between enstrophy and strain during the first stages of the
the joint PDF at the T/NT interface shows that the most turbulent entrainment. Strain dominates over enstrophy in
frequent values seem to show a tendency toward 2 : 1 : −3 the irrotational region near the T/NT interface 共enstrophy is
关see Fig. 14共a兲兴, while intermediate values seem to be closer virtually zero there兲, while enstrophy dominates over strain
to 1 : 1 : −2, i.e., the smaller scales of motion at the T/NT at the start of the turbulent region, where, as discussed
interface are associated with near axisymmetric extension. At above, strain product 共and also strain skewness兲 do not in-
the point of maximum 具兩⍀z兩典I at y I / ␩ = 1.7 and deep inside crease as fast as the enstrophy. Deep inside the turbulent
the turbulent region at y I / ␩ = 8.6, the joint PDFs are quite region, the enstrophy and strain product are comparable, as
similar 关compare Figs. 14共b兲 and 14共c兲兴. Here, the contour in isotropic turbulence.
lines are aligned with 2 : 1 : −3 for the most frequent, inter- The conditional mean of the third invariant of the veloc-
mediate, and less frequent values. ity gradient tensor R = −关SijS jkSki + 共3 / 4兲⍀i⍀ jSij兴 / 3 is zero or

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055101-14 C. B. da Silva and J. C. F. Pereira Phys. Fluids 20, 055101 共2008兲

Irrotational As the flow approaches the T/NT interface, the mean invari-
1 Turbulent
ants move away from the origin and become more and more
0.5 distant from the origin along the line, DA = 0, for 具R典I ⬎ 0 and
具Q典I ⬍ 0, which is associated with straining of fluid elements.
0 Notice that the T/NT interface is very close to the point of
<Q>I

maximum 具R典I and to the point of minimum 具Q典I. After the


-0.5
T/NT interface, the mean flow topology moves very quickly
DA=0 DA=0 into the region, 具R典I ⬍ 0 and 具Q典I ⬎ 0, associated with a pre-
-1
dominance of vortex stretching. It is interesting to notice that
-1.5 the point of maximum 具兩⍀z兩典I is located near the point that is
-0.5 0 0.5
<R>I most distant from the origin in this quadrant, indicating that
(a) the point of maximum 具兩⍀z兩典I is connected with the maxi-
Irrotational mum 共mean兲 values of vortex stretching that occur during the
Turbulent
turbulent entrainment process. Finally, the mean invariants
fall into the region near the origin of the 共R , Q兲 phase map,
2
as expected since the mean values of both 具R典I and 具Q典I in
the center of the jet shear layer are near zero, as in isotropic
<Q>I

turbulence.
0 Figures 17共a兲–17共c兲 show joint PDFs of 共R , Q兲 at the
three particular locations used before: y I / ␩ = 0.0 共T/NT inter-
DA=0 DA=0 face兲, y I / ␩ = 1.7 共point of maximum 具兩⍀z兩典I兲, and y I / ␩ = 8.6
-2 共deep inside the turbulent zone兲. The first important observa-
-1 -0.5 0 0.5 1
<R>I tion concerns the general shape of the PDFs. At the T/NT
(b) interface, the teardrop characteristic shape of the 共R , Q兲
phase map cannot be seen yet 关see Fig. 17共a兲兴. The values of
FIG. 16. 共Color online兲 Trajectories of the conditional mean values of the
invariants of the velocity gradient tensors 具R典I and 具Q典I in their associated
R and Q exist only below the lines defined by the discrimi-
phase map for 共a兲 −0.6⬍ 具R典I ⬍ 0.6 and −1.5⬍ 具Q典I ⬍ 1 and 共b兲 −1 ⬍ 具R典I nant DA = 0. This is consistent with the results described be-
⬍ 1 and −2 ⬍ 具Q典I ⬍ 3. The solid line and solid triangles indicate points in fore, i.e., at the T/NT interface, strain product dominates
the irrotational region y I / ␩ 艋 0, while the dashed line and solid inverted
triangles indicate points in the turbulent region y I / ␩ ⬎ 0. The symbols mark
over enstrophy and thus Q ⬍ 0 for virtually all the points of
共䊊兲 y I / ␩ = 0 共T/NT interface兲, 共䊐兲 y I / ␩ = 1.7 共point of maximum 具兩⍀z 兩 典I兲, the T/NT interface, and not only in the mean, as we saw
and 共〫兲 y I / ␩ = 8.6 共well inside the turbulent region兲. before. Notice, however, that even at the T/NT interface, the
contour lines of the joint PDFs for R ⬎ 0 are already aligned
with the line, DA = 0. At the points of maximum 具兩⍀z兩典I and
negligible in the whole irrotational region, 具R典I ⬇ 0, in y I / ␩ deep inside the turbulent region, the joint PDFs of the 共R , Q兲
⬍ 0. Once the T/NT interface has been crossed, R grows map already show the well known teardrop shape 关see Figs.
and reaches a positive maximum of 具R典I ⬇ 0.5共U1 / H兲3 at 17共b兲 and 17共c兲兴, where Q and R are correlated in two par-
y I / ␩ ⬇ 0.5. Since in this region 具Q典I is high and negative, this ticular regions: R ⬎ 0 and Q ⬍ 0 representing a predominance
implies that 具R典I ⬃ −具SijS jkSki典I / 3 = −具␣S␤S␥S典I. Therefore, of biaxial stretching of the fluid elements and R ⬍ 0 and
the associated flow structure is sheetlike, consistent with Q ⬎ 0 associated with a predominance of enstrophy produc-
the discussion about 具RS典I described above. 具R典I decreases tion by vortex stretching. It is impressive to observe how
after this, reaching a minimum of 具R典I ⬇ −1.0共U1 / H兲3 at quickly and how so close to the T/NT interface this teardrop
y I / ␩ ⬇ 1.6. At this point, 具Q典I is large and positive and thus shape appears: the flow needs a length of less than 1.7␩ to
具R典I ⬃ −具⍀i⍀ jSij典I / 4 ⬎ 0, i.e., 共positive兲 enstrophy production form the classical teardrop shape. Also, note that the shape of
共vortex stretching兲 dominates the flow. Finally, for y I / ␩ ⬎ 8,
the joint PDFs in y I / ␩ = 1.7 and y I / ␩ = 8.6 shown in Figs.
具R典I ⬇ 0, as expected since the flow is close to isotropic and
17共b兲 and 17共c兲 is very similar and is similar also to the joint
具R典I = 0 in isotropic turbulence.
PDFs of these quantities in numerous works.3,7–9,19,20 The
Figure 16 shows the trajectory of the mean values of
only 共small兲 difference between Figs. 17共b兲 and 17共c兲 is that
具Q典I and 具R典I in their associated phase map. The mean values
the alignment of the contours with the line DA = 0 for R ⬎ 0 is
of the invariants taken from the irrotational region are repre-
sented by solid triangles, while solid inverted triangles rep- stronger at y I / ␩ = 8.6 than in y I / ␩ = 1.7 and also that the
resent points from the turbulent region, and the trajectories intermediate contour lines are a bit more squeezed in the
connecting the mean values are represented by a solid line horizontal direction near the origin for y I / ␩ = 1.7 than for
共irrotational region兲 and a dashed line 共turbulent region兲. y I / ␩ = 8.6. This fact again suggests that there are still some
Again, the symbols mark y I / ␩ = 0.0, 1.7, and 8.6. In the irro- adjustments going on within the flow between y I / ␩ = 1.7 and
tational flow region, far away from the T/NT interface, the y I / ␩ = 8.6, although the overall shape of the joint PDFs are
mean invariants are at the origin, i.e., 具R典I ⬇ 0 and 具Q典I ⬇ 0. similar in both locations.

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055101-15 Invariants of the velocity-gradient, rate-of-strain, and rate-of-rotation tensors Phys. Fluids 20, 055101 共2008兲

1 zero in the irrotational flow region far away from the T/NT
interface. As the T/NT interface is approached from the irro-
0.5 tational flow region, the mean and instantaneous value of
Q/<SijSij> most of the invariants remains zero. However, we see that
0 具Q典I = 具QS典I ⬍ 0 and these invariants are seen to increase 共in
modulus兲 rapidly. This implies the existence of viscous dis-
-0.5 sipation of kinetic energy outside the turbulent region. A
similar result was recently obtained by Holzner et al.31 near
the turbulent front generated by an oscillating grid. More-
-1
over, we observed also that not only the mean value of Q is
negative 具Q典I ⬍ 0 but also that the same is true for all points
-1 -0.5 0 3/2 0.5 1 located at −5 ⬍ y I / ␩ ⬍ 0, i.e., Q ⬍ 0 everywhere, thereby im-
R/<SijSij>
(a) plying that strain product dominates over enstrophy in all
flow points from this region. The physical mechanism re-
1 sponsible for this irrotational dissipation still has to be ex-
plained; however, the analysis of the invariant RS shows that
0.5 the strain product production term—see Eq. 共13兲—is negli-
Q/<SijSij>

gible outside the turbulent region and thus cannot explain the
0 high level of viscous dissipation found there. Either viscous
effects or nonlocal effects related to the pressure field are
-0.5 responsible for this irrotational viscous dissipation. Prelimi-
nary results discussed in Appendix B seem to imply that this
irrotational dissipation is caused by instantaneous 共local兲
-1
pure shear induced by the large scale entraining motions.
Finally, although 具RS典I ⬇ 0, its value is always positive,
-1 -0.5 0 3/2 0.5 1 which implies that the mean flow geometry is already char-
R/<SijSij>
(b) acterized by the straining 共as opposed to the contraction兲 of
the fluid elements. In particular, the mean values of 具RS典I and
1 具QS典I show a preference for a geometry characterized by
␣S : ␤S : ␥S = 3 : 1 : −4 in this region, where ␣S, ␤S, and ␥S are
0.5 the eigenvalues of the rate-of-strain tensor arranged in de-
Q/<SijSij>

scending order.
0 Right at the T/NT interface, the enstrophy density is still
negligible as attested by the local and mean values of the
-0.5 invariant of the rate-of-rotation tensor QW ⬇ 0, but on the
other hand, the local and mean values of the strain product,
proportional to −具QS典I, are very high. The joint PDF of QW
-1
and −QS shows that at the T/NT interface, all the flow points
are characterized by irrotational dissipation, i.e., there is still
-1 -0.5 0 3/2 0.5 1
R/<SijSij> no sign of the coherent vortices that are known to exist in the
(c) turbulent region. Moreover, the analysis of the invariants R
FIG. 17. 共Color online兲 Joint PDFs of R and Q at three particular locations:
and Q show that the classical teardrop shape of the 共R , Q兲
共a兲 y I / ␩ = 0 共T/NT interface兲, 共b兲 y I / ␩ = 1.7 共point of maximum 具兩⍀z 兩 典I兲, and phase map is not yet formed at the T/NT interface.
共c兲 y I / ␩ = 8.6 共well inside the turbulent region兲. The contour levels are the All the invariants display rapid changes shortly after the
same as in Fig. 12. T/NT interface. In particular, the invariants show that the
geometry and topology of the flow rapidly evolves from the
T/NT interface until the point of maximum 具兩⍀z兩典I located at
V. CONCLUSIONS y I / ␩ = 1.7. The invariant 具QW典I rapidly grows and reaches
The invariants of the velocity gradient 共R and Q兲, rate- values which stay more or less constant afterward throughout
of-strain 共RS and QS兲, and rate-of-rotation 共QW兲 tensors were the whole turbulent region. The invariants 具QS典I and 具RS典I,
analyzed near the T/NT interface, which is present in many proportional to the viscous dissipation rate and strain skew-
flows such as mixing layers, wakes, and jets, using a DNS of ness, respectively, also increase during this time, although at
a turbulent plane jet at Re␭ ⬇ 120. The invariants were ana- a smaller rate. Indeed, these invariants only reach their tur-
lyzed by using conditional mean values in relation to the bulent values long after the point of maximum 具兩⍀z兩典I. No-
distance from the T/NT interface, their associated trajectories tice, however, that the geometry associated with the viscous
in the classical phase maps, and joint PDFs at several dis- dissipation changes quite dramatically from the T/NT inter-
tances from the T/NT interface. face to the point of maximum 具兩⍀z兩典I, as can be appreciated
The mean and instantaneous value of all the invariants is in the joint PDF of QW and −QS. The contour lines of these

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055101-16 C. B. da Silva and J. C. F. Pereira Phys. Fluids 20, 055101 共2008兲

curves at y I / ␩ = 1.7 are already very similar to the ones ob- 3 (no filter)
served in isotropic turbulence by Ooi et al.7 and also in a kη=1.0
turbulent channel flow by Blackburn et al.9 There is still 2 kη=0.9
some tendency for the contour lines associated with the most kη=0.8

<Q>I, <R>I
frequent values to be aligned with the vertical line 1
−QS = SijSij / 2 associated with irrotational dissipation, but in
most of the contour lines, no correlation can be observed 0
between QW and −QS. The smaller values of the contour lines
seem to be tilted to the horizontal line −QS = 0, which implies
-1
that the highest values of QW, representing points with very
high values of enstrophy, are associated with little viscous
-2
dissipation, as in the case of a solid body rotation. This sug- -5 0 5
gests that at this point y I / ␩ = 1.7, large scale coherent vorti- yI/η
ces already exist in the flow. Furthermore, the contour lines
of the joint PDF between RS and QS show that during the FIG. 18. 共Color online兲 Conditional mean profiles of the invariants 具Q典I and
initial entrainment phase i.e., for 0 ⬍ y I / ␩ ⬍ 1.7, the local 具R典I in the region −6 艋 y I / ␩ 艋 6, obtained after high pass filtering the DNS
data, using a cutoff filter at k␩ = 0.8, 0.9, and 1.0. Results obtained without
flow topology is characterized by ␣S : ␤S : ␥S = 2 : 1 : −3. The filtering 共no filter兲 are also shown and the statistics were obtained using one
most interesting result observed at y I / ␩ = 1.7 is related to the single instantaneous field.
analysis of the R and Q invariants and their phase map. The
joint PDF of these invariants already shows the classical ergy dissipation spectra from the present DNS data were al-
teardrop shape observed in experimental and numerical stud- ready discussed in Sec. II D with respect to Figs. 4共a兲 and
ies of many turbulent flows. It is remarkable that the flow 4共b兲, respectively. A referee suggested an additional test that
needs less than 1.7␩, since crossing of the T/NT interface, to we carry out here.
form the teardrop shape completely. Moreover, the mean val- We start by defining three filter sizes: k␩ = 0.8, 0.9, and
ues of these invariants show that the point of maximum 1.0. Close inspection of Fig. 4共b兲 shows that these filters are
具兩⍀z兩典I is very close to the point of maximum 具Q典I and the placed well after the peak in dissipation, which is located at
point of minimum 具R典I. This implies that the maximum of k␩ ⬇ 0.3. Therefore, if the present simulation is well re-
具兩⍀z兩典I is near the point of maximum 共mean兲 vortex stretch- solved, high pass filtering of the DNS fields at k␩ = 0.8, 0.9,
ing. and 1.0 will not cause any significant changes to the results.
Finally, from y I / ␩ = 1.7 to y I / ␩ = 8.6, few things seem to Figure 18 shows the mean conditional profiles of the
change during the turbulent entrainment process. Indeed, invariants 具Q典I and 具R典I in the region −6 艋 y I / ␩ 艋 6, where
several invariants and joint PDFs at y I / ␩ = 1.7 and y I / ␩ the DNS data was high pass filtered before the invariants
= 8.6 are very similar, e.g., the joint PDFs of 共QW , −QS兲, were computed by using a cutoff filter at k␩ = 0.8, 0.9, and
共RS , QS兲, and 共R , Q兲. However, a closer look into the invari- 1.0, respectively. Results without the application of any filter
ants shows that this is not really the case. For instance, the 共“no filter”兲 are also shown for comparison. Here, in contrast
mean invariants 具QS典I and 具RS典I still increase to their turbu- to Fig. 15, only one single instantaneous field was used to
lent values after the point of maximum 具兩⍀z兩典I has been compute the statistics. As can be seen, no significant differ-
crossed at y I / ␩ = 1.7. This suggests that between y I / ␩ = 1.7 ence can be observed between the four conditional mean
and y I / ␩ = 8.6, there are still some physical adjustment pro- profiles.
cesses going on within the flow. The nature of these pro- Figures 19共a兲 and 19共b兲 show the PDFs of Q and R,
cesses should be analyzed in future works. respectively, obtained without filtering the DNS data and by
high pass filtering the data at k␩ = 0.8, 0.9, and 1.0 prior to
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS the computation of the invariants. The PDFs are nondimen-
sionalized by the root mean square of the respective variable,
The authors would like to acknowledge an anonymous
e.g., Q⬘ = 具Q⬘2典1/2 in order to highlight the tails of the PDFs.
referee for many interesting and important remarks made
The shape of the PDFs for the three cases are virtually equal
during the revision of this work. In particular, the authors
for almost all their values. The zoom of the tails of the PDFs
feel indebted to this referee for an idea about the origin of the
shows that only for PDF values below about 1 ⫻ 10−6 can we
irrotational dissipation that we explored in Appendix B.
start discerning some 共small兲 differences between the four
C.B.d.S. is supported by the Portuguese Minister of Science
cases, which shows that the differences between the results
and Technology 共MCTES兲 under “Ciência 2007.”
obtained with and without filtering are indeed very small.
APPENDIX A: RESOLUTION TESTS Thus, we conclude that the invariants are indeed well cap-
tured in the present simulation.
The present work analyzes quantities associated with ex-
tremely small and thus very intermittent scales of motion APPENDIX B: THE ORIGIN OF THE VISCOUS
such as the invariants of the velocity gradient tensor Q and DISSIPATION IN THE IRROTATIONAL REGION
R. Therefore, it is useful to provide some additional reso- In this appendix, we analyze a pertinent question raised
lution checks to the original DNS data bank. This is the by a referee: Is the viscous dissipation found inside the irro-
purpose of this appendix. The kinetic energy and kinetic en- tational 共NT兲 flow region induced by instantaneous values of

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055101-17 Invariants of the velocity-gradient, rate-of-strain, and rate-of-rotation tensors Phys. Fluids 20, 055101 共2008兲

<S112>I
0
10-4 10 2
10 <S222>I
10-2
<S332>I
10-4 <2S122>I
10-5 101 <2S132>I
-6
10
<2S232>I
Pdf
0 20 40 60 <SijSij>I
-6
100
10 (no filter)
kη=1.0
kη=0.9
kη=0.8
10-1
-7
10
20 30 40 50 60
(a) Q/Q’
10-2
0 -10 -5 0 5
10-4 10 yI/η
10-2
FIG. 20. 共Color online兲 Conditional mean profiles of the six strain product
10-4 terms defined in Eq. 共B1兲 nondimensionalized by 共U1 / H兲2 near the T/NT
10-5 -6
interface. For simplicity, these conditional mean profiles were made using
10 共only兲 20 coordinate points in −10艋 y I / ␩ 艋 5, while the other conditional
Pdf

0 50 100 mean profiles used in this work 共e.g., in Fig. 10兲 use about 60 points in the
same interval.
-6
10
(no filter)

冓冉 冊 冔 冓冉 冊 冔 冓冉 冊 冔
kη=1.0
kη=0.9
kη=0.8 ⳵u 2
⳵v 2
⳵w 2
10-7 = = , 共B2兲
20 40 60 80 100 ⳵x ⳵y ⳵z
(b)

冓冉 冊 冔 冓冉 冊 冔
R/R’
⳵ui 2
⳵ui 2
FIG. 19. 共Color online兲 Joint PDFs of R and Q obtained after high pass =2 共no summation兲, 共B3兲
filtering the DNS data with a cutoff filter at k␩ = 0.8, 0.9, and 1.0. Results ⳵x j ⳵xi

冓冉 冊冉 冊冔 冓冉 冊 冔
obtained without filtering 共no filter兲 are also shown.
⳵ui ⳵u j 1 ⳵ui 2
=− 共no summation兲,
⳵x j ⳵xi 2 ⳵xi
共B4兲
pure shear caused by nearby large scale engulfing/entraining
implying that 具S11 2
典 = 具S22
2
典 = 具S33
2
典, 具S12
2
典 = 具S13
2
典 = 具S23
2
典, and
motions, or is it caused by incoherent irrotational velocity 3 2
fluctuations near the T/NT interface? 具2S12典 = 2 具S11典.
2

If the dissipation is caused by small velocity fluctua- Figure 20共a兲 shows the conditional mean profiles of the
tions, then we expect them to be mainly associated with six terms defined in Eq. 共B1兲 in the region −10艋 y I / ␩ 艋 5,
small scale motions, maybe with velocity and length scales where i , j = 1, 2, and 3 represent the x, y, and z direc-
characteristic of the nibbling motions associated with the en- tions, respectively. We start by analyzing the results
trainment mechanism. In this case, we expect them to be from the turbulent region at y I / ␩ = 4, where we have 具S11 2
典I
near isotropic due to the well known tendency to isotropy of ⬇ 具S22典I ⬇ 具S33典I ⬇ 1.8共U1 / H兲2 and 具2S12典I ⬇ 具2S13典I ⬇ 具2S23
2 2 2 2 2
典I
small scale motions in turbulent flows. These small scale ⬇ 2.8共U1 / H兲 . By using these conditional mean values, we
2

motions could be, for instance, originated by nonlocal effects obtain 具2S12 2
典I / 具S11
2
典I = 2.8/ 1.8⬇ 1.55, i.e., very close to the
caused by the fluctuating pressure field in the nearby turbu- isotropic value of 23 , which again confirms that the plane jet
lent region. is 共statistically兲 very nearly isotropic inside the turbulent
However, if the dissipation is caused by nearby large region.
scale engulfing motions, we expect it to be associated with On the other hand, in the irrotational region at
anisotropic velocity fluctuations since it seems plausible for y I / ␩ = −4, we have 具S11 2
典I ⬇ 具S222
典I ⬇ 具S332
典I ⬇ 0.05共U1 / H兲2,
the most frequent and the most intense of these entraining 具2S12典I ⬇ 0.1共U1 / H兲 , 具2S13典I ⬇ 0.06共U1 / H兲2, and 具2S23
2 2 2 2
典I
motions to be caused by the larger scale flow vortices in the ⬇ 0.075共U1 / H兲 , 2
which give 具2S12典I / 具S11典I ⬇ 2.0,
2

jet, which are anisotropic and originate in the initial jet in- 具2S13 2
典I / 具S11典I ⬇ 1.2, and 具2S23 2
典I / 具S11典I ⬇ 1.5.
stabilities arising from the inlet 共or initial兲 highest mean Although not very far from isotropic, these values are
shear in the jet. inconsistent with isotropic velocity fluctuations inside the
In order to investigate this problem, we decomposed the NT region near the T/NT interface. Moreover, notice that the
strain product SijSij into its six components, terms with the highest conditional mean, i.e., 具2S12 2
典I and
具2S23典I, are precisely the ones associated with ⳵ / ⳵y, i.e., the
2
2
SijSij = S11 2
+ S22 2
+ S33 2
+ 2S12 2
+ 2S13 2
+ 2S23 . 共B1兲
direction of the highest mean shear in a plane jet. Thus, the
In isotropic turbulence, we have the following present results seem to give support to the suggestion made
relations:45 by an anonymous referee in that the existence of a non-

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055101-18 C. B. da Silva and J. C. F. Pereira Phys. Fluids 20, 055101 共2008兲

25
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