Modulated waves in a periodically driven annular cavity

H. M. Blackburn, Juan Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Time-periodic flows with spatio-temporal symmetry Z2 O(2)-invariance in the spanwise direction generating the O(2) symmetry group and a half-period-reflection symmetry in the streamwise direction generating a spatio-temporal Z2 symmetry group-are of interest largely because this is the symmetry group of periodic laminar two-dimensional wakes of symmetric bodies. Such flows are the base states for various three-dimensional instabilities; the periodically shedding two-dimensional circular cylinder wake with three-dimensional modes A and B being the generic example. However, it is not easy to physically realize the ideal flows owing to the presence of end effects and finite spanwise geometries. Flows past rings are sometimes advanced as providing a relevant idealization, but in fact these have symmetry group O(2) and only approach Z2 O(2) symmetry in the infinite aspect ratio limit. The present work examines physically realizable periodically driven annular cavity flows that possess Z2 O(2) spatio-temporal symmetry. The flows have three distinct codimension-1 instabilities: two synchronous modes (A and B), and two manifestations of a quasi-periodic (QP) mode, either as modulated standing waves or modulated travelling waves. It is found that the curvature of the system can determine which of these modes is the first to become unstable with increasing Reynolds number, and that even in the nonlinear regime near onset of three-dimensional instabilities the dynamics are dominated by mixed modes with complicated spatio-temporal structure. Supplementary movies illustrating the spatio-temporal dynamics are available at

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-357
Number of pages22
Journaljournal of fluid mechanics
StatePublished - Jan 25 2011


  • bifurcation
  • pattern formation
  • vortex streets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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