On the Secondary Instability of the Most Dangerous Görtler Vortex

  • S. R. Otto
  • James P. Denier
Conference paper
Part of the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics book series (IUTAM)


Recent studies have demonstrated the most unstable Görtler vortex mode is found in flows, both two and three-dimensional, with regions of (moderately) large body curvature and these modes reside within a thin layer situated at the base of the conventional boundary layer. Further work concerning the nonlinear development of the most dangerous mode demonstrates that the flow results in a self induced flow reversal. However, prior to the point at which flow reversal is encountered the total streamwise velocity profile is found to be highly inflectional in nature. Previous work then suggests that the nonlinear vortex state will become unstable to secondary, inviscid, Rayleigh wave instabilities prior to the point of flow reversal. Our concern is with the secondary instability of the nonlinear vortex states, which result from the streamwise evolution of the most unstable Görtler vortex mode, with the aim of determining whether such modes can induce a transition to a fully turbulent state before separation is encountered.


Rayleigh Wave Secondary Instability Secondary Mode Stream Wise Velocity NASA Langley Research 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. R. Otto
    • 1
  • James P. Denier
    • 2
  1. 1.NASA Langley Research CenterICASEUSA
  2. 2.University of New South WalesKensingtonAustralia

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