Structural and Statistical Aspects of Stably Stratified Turbulence

  • Jackson R. Herring
  • Yoshifumi Kimura
Conference paper


Stably stratified turbulence is examined via direct numerical simulation (DNS) and elementary statistical theory. Such flows decay more slowly than isotropic turbulence with the same initial conditions. We offer an explanation in terms of the diminution of energy transfer to small scales because of phase mixing nature of gravity waves. Structures in stratified flows (pancakes) are distinctly different from those of isotropic turbulence (vortex tubes). Thus waves of smaller frequencies survive. Finally we compare probability distribution functions (PDFs) for the Eulerian acceleration for stratified flow to isotropic PDF’s. The PDF’s of stable stratification are significantly more Gaussian than those of isotropic turbulence, suggesting that the underlying assumptions of two—point closures may be more applicable to stratified turbulence than to isotropic flows.


Direet Numerieal Simulation Probability Distribution Function Vortex Tube Inertial Range Kinetic Energy Spectrum 
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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jackson R. Herring
    • 1
  • Yoshifumi Kimura
    • 2
  1. 1.N.C.A.R.BoulderUSA
  2. 2.Graduate School of MathematicsNagoya UniversityChikusa-ku, NagoyaJapan

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