A Numerical Study of the Instability of the Laminar Ekman Boundary Layer

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  • 1 University of Maryland, College Park
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Abstract

This study is concerned with the instability of laminar Ekman flow which is characteristic of boundary-layer flows in rotating systems of many kinds. By numerical integration of the equations of motion we have obtained critical values of a Reynolds number for this flow, growth rates of the unstable perturbations and equilibrium finite-amplitude solutions. The results are in good agreement with experimental data, and the numerical solutions extend the results beyond what could be obtained readily in laboratory experiments.

Abstract

This study is concerned with the instability of laminar Ekman flow which is characteristic of boundary-layer flows in rotating systems of many kinds. By numerical integration of the equations of motion we have obtained critical values of a Reynolds number for this flow, growth rates of the unstable perturbations and equilibrium finite-amplitude solutions. The results are in good agreement with experimental data, and the numerical solutions extend the results beyond what could be obtained readily in laboratory experiments.

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