Homoclinic snaking in plane Couette flow: bending, skewing, and finite-size effects

28 Sep 2015  ·  Gibson John F., Schneider Tobias M. ·

Invariant solutions of shear flows have recently been extended from spatially periodic solutions in minimal flow units to spatially localized solutions on extended domains. One set of spanwise-localized solutions of plane Couette flow exhibits homoclinic snaking, a process by which steady-state solutions grow additional structure smoothly at their fronts when continued parametrically... Homoclinic snaking is well understood mathematically in the context of the one-dimensional Swift-Hohenberg equation. Consequently, the snaking solutions of plane Couette flow form a promising connection between the largely phenomenological study of laminar-turbulent patterns in viscous shear flows and the mathematically well-developed field of pattern-formation theory. In this paper we present a numerical study of the snaking solutions, generalizing beyond the fixed streamwise wavelength of previous studies. We find a number of new solution features, including bending, skewing, and finite-size effects. We show that the finite-size effects result from the shift-reflect symmetry of the traveling wave and establish the parameter regions over which snaking occurs. A new winding solution of plane Couette flow is derived from a strongly skewed localized equilibrium. read more

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Fluid Dynamics Pattern Formation and Solitons