Evolution of disturbance wavepackets in an oscillatory Stokes layer

Christian Thomas, Christopher Davies, Andrew P. Bassom, P. J. Blennerhassett

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Numerical simulation results are presented for the linear and nonlinear evolution of disturbances in a flat Stokes layer. The response to a spatially localised impulsive forcing is investigated and it is found that the spatial-temporal development of the flow displays an intriguing family-tree-like structure, which involves the birth of successive generations of distinct wavepacket components. It is shown that some features of this unexpected structure can be predicted using the results of a linear stability analysis based on Floquet theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-571
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • boundary layer stability
  • Key words absolute/convective instability
  • transition to turbulence

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