Self-sustained states at Kolmogorov microscale

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It is shown theoretically how the scaling of coherent structures in shear flows changes their asymptotic development at large Reynolds number. Based on the theory a family of nonlinear self-sustained states at Kolmogorov microscale is numerically identified on the laminar-turbulent boundary of shear flows. Theoretically and numerically the states connect to known asymptotic states existing at larger scale. The asymptotically very small amplitude of the new states may explain why strongly sheared, linearly stable laminar flows can cause a turbulent transition by small disturbances. The numerically obtained Kolmogorov-scale solutions can be used to describe the theoretically minimal self-sustained structures appearing in various shear flows.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberR6
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • mathematical foundations
  • nonlinear instability
  • transition to turbulence

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