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      Coherent Lagrangian vortices: the black holes of turbulence

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      Journal of Fluid Mechanics
      Cambridge University Press (CUP)

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          Abstract

          We introduce a simple variational principle for coherent material vortices in two-dimensional turbulence. Vortex boundaries are sought as closed stationary curves of the averaged Lagrangian strain. Solutions to this problem turn out to be mathematically equivalent to photon spheres around black holes in cosmology. The fluidic photon spheres satisfy explicit differential equations whose outermost limit cycles are optimal Lagrangian vortex boundaries. As an application, we uncover super-coherent material eddies in the South Atlantic, which yield specific Lagrangian transport estimates for Agulhas rings.

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          Most cited references11

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          Global observations of nonlinear mesoscale eddies

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            An objective definition of a vortex

            G. Haller (1999)
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              Time and space scales of vertical mixing and advection of phytoplankton in the upper ocean

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Fluid Mechanics
                J. Fluid Mech.
                Cambridge University Press (CUP)
                0022-1120
                1469-7645
                September 25 2013
                September 03 2013
                September 25 2013
                : 731
                Article
                10.1017/jfm.2013.391
                a34673b5-13f7-40f5-b7fa-1e8093026c0d
                © 2013

                https://www.cambridge.org/core/terms


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