Simulation of vortex reconnection

Robert M. Kerr, Fazle Hussain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


The reconnection of two antiparallel viscous vortices is simulated in a periodic domain. Reynolds numbers based on circulation divided by viscosity range from 1600 to 3200. Symmetries are used along with increased resolution in the direction normal to the dividing plane to reduce the computation requirements. As the Reynolds number is increased a significant increase in enstrophy is not seen, but there is a significant increase in the peak vorticity that is consistent with a singularity of the three-dimensional, incompressible Euler equations in a finite time. The reconnection region is characterized by vortex sheets and large relative helicity in the outer regions of the reconnection. A power law regime is found in energy spectra.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-484
Number of pages11
JournalPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jul 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Applied Mathematics


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