Parametric instabilities of a stratified shear layer

M. Ryan Buchta, Jason Yalim, Bruno D. Welfert, Juan M. Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A Boussinesq fluid inside a stably thermally stratified square container whose walls are inclined with respect to gravity, with two opposite walls kept at constant temperatures and the other two insulated is nearly isothermal in the regions above and below the horizontal diagonal. The flow is concentrated in the wall boundary layers and a shear layer centred about the horizontal diagonal. The equilibrium is maintained by the balance between dissipation in the shear and boundary layers, the heat fluxes at the constant temperature walls, and the induced flow resulting from the no-flux condition at the inclined insulated walls. The dynamical response of the fluid to vertical oscillations of the container is studied over a range of forcing frequencies. For a small forcing amplitude and below a viscosity-dependent cutoff forcing frequency, this response exhibits a modal cellular structure localized about the shear layer. With increasing forcing amplitude, the response experiences instabilities, studied here numerically at a forcing frequency above the cutoff frequency, that are similar to those encountered in the Faraday wave problem, such as parametric subharmonic instability, triadic resonance and resonant collapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberR4
Journaljournal of fluid mechanics
StatePublished - 2021


  • parametric instability
  • stratified flows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Parametric instabilities of a stratified shear layer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this