Stably stratified square cavity subjected to horizontal oscillations: responses to small amplitude forcing

Hezekiah Grayer, Jason Yalim, Bruno D. Welfert, Juan M. Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A stably stratified fluid-filled two-dimensional square cavity is subjected to harmonic horizontal oscillations with frequencies less than the buoyancy frequency. The static linearly stratified state, which is an equilibrium of the unforced system, is not an equilibrium for any non-zero forcing amplitude. As viscous effects are reduced, the horizontally forced flows computed from the Navier-Stokes-Boussinesq equations tend to have piecewise constant or piecewise linear vorticity within the pattern of characteristic lines originating from the corners of the cavity. These flows are well described in the inviscid limit by a perturbation analysis of the unforced equilibrium using the forcing amplitude as the small perturbation parameter. At first order, this perturbation analysis leads to a forced linear inviscid hyperbolic system subject to boundary conditions and spatio-temporal symmetries associated with the horizontal forcing. A Fredholm alternative determines the type of solutions of this system: either the response is uniquely determined by the forcing, or it is resonant and corresponds to an intrinsic mode of the cavity. Both types of responses are investigated in terms of a waveform function satisfying a set of functional equations and are related to the behaviour of the characteristics of the hyperbolic system. In particular, non-retracing (ergodic) characteristics may lead to fractal responses. Models of viscous dissipation are also formulated to adjust the linear inviscid model for viscous effects obtained in the viscous nonlinear simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number73
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 'Stably stratified square cavity subjected to horizontal oscillations: responses to small amplitude forcing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this