Geometry and interaction of structures in homogeneous isotropic turbulence
A strategy to extract turbulence structures from direct numerical simulation (DNS) data is described along with a systematic analysis of geometry and spatial distribution of the educed structures. A DNS dataset of decaying homogeneous isotropic turbulence at Reynolds number $\mathitRe_λ = 141$ is considered. A bandpass filtering procedure is shown to be effective in extracting enstrophy and dissipation structures with their smallest scales matching the filter width, $L$ . The geometry of these educed structures is characterized and classified through the use of two non-dimensional quantities, âplanarityâ and âfilamentarityâ, obtained using the Minkowski functionals. The planarity increases gradually by a small amount as $L$ is decreased, and its narrow variation suggests a nearly circular cross-section for the educed structures. The filamentarity increases significantly as $L$ decreases demonstrating that the educed structures become progressively more tubular. An analysis of the preferential alignment between the filtered strain and vorticity fields reveals that vortical structures of a given scale $L$ are most likely to align with the largest extensional strain at a scale 3â5 times larger than $L$ . This is consistent with the classical energy cascade picture, in which vortices of a given scale are stretched by and absorb energy from structures of a somewhat larger scale. The spatial distribution of the educed structures shows that the enstrophy structures at the $5η $ scale (where $η $ is the Kolmogorov scale) are more concentrated near the ones that are 3â5 times larger, which gives further support to the classical picture. Finally, it is shown by analysing the volume fraction of the educed enstrophy structures that there is a tendency for them to cluster around a larger structure or clusters of larger structures.