Accessibility navigation

Kraichnan–Leith–Batchelor similarity theory and two-dimensional inverse cascades

Burgess, B. H., Scott, R. K. and Shepherd, T. G. (2015) Kraichnan–Leith–Batchelor similarity theory and two-dimensional inverse cascades. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 767. pp. 467-496. ISSN 0022-1120

Full text not archived in this repository.

It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/jfm.2015.26


We study the scaling properties and Kraichnan–Leith–Batchelor (KLB) theory of forced inverse cascades in generalized two-dimensional (2D) fluids (α-turbulence models) simulated at resolution 8192x8192. We consider α=1 (surface quasigeostrophic flow), α=2 (2D Euler flow) and α=3. The forcing scale is well resolved, a direct cascade is present and there is no large-scale dissipation. Coherent vortices spanning a range of sizes, most larger than the forcing scale, are present for both α=1 and α=2. The active scalar field for α=3 contains comparatively few and small vortices. The energy spectral slopes in the inverse cascade are steeper than the KLB prediction −(7−α)/3 in all three systems. Since we stop the simulations well before the cascades have reached the domain scale, vortex formation and spectral steepening are not due to condensation effects; nor are they caused by large-scale dissipation, which is absent. One- and two-point p.d.f.s, hyperflatness factors and structure functions indicate that the inverse cascades are intermittent and non-Gaussian over much of the inertial range for α=1 and α=2, while the α=3 inverse cascade is much closer to Gaussian and non-intermittent. For α=3 the steep spectrum is close to that associated with enstrophy equipartition. Continuous wavelet analysis shows approximate KLB scaling ℰ(k)∝k−2 (α=1) and ℰ(k)∝k−5/3 (α=2) in the interstitial regions between the coherent vortices. Our results demonstrate that coherent vortex formation (α=1 and α=2) and non-realizability (α=3) cause 2D inverse cascades to deviate from the KLB predictions, but that the flow between the vortices exhibits KLB scaling and non-intermittent statistics for α=1 and α=2.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:39385
Publisher:Cambridge University Press

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation