Experimental quantification of nonlinear time scales in inertial wave rotating turbulence

Ehud Yarom, Alon Salhov, Eran Sharon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study nonlinearities of inertial waves in rotating turbulence. At small Rossby numbers the kinetic energy in the system is contained in helical inertial waves with time dependence amplitudes. In this regime the amplitude variations time scales are slow compared to wave periods, and the spectrum is concentrated along the dispersion relation of the waves. A nonlinear time scale was extracted from the width of the spectrum, which reflects the intensity of nonlinear wave interactions. This nonlinear time scale is found to be proportional to (U·k)-1, where k is the wave vector and U is the root-mean-square horizontal velocity, which is dominated by large scales. This correlation, which indicates the existence of turbulence in which inertial waves undergo weak nonlinear interactions, persists only for small Rossby numbers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122601
JournalPhysical Review Fluids
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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