Combined effects of amplitude, frequency and bandwidth on wavepackets in laminar turbulent transition

Kean Lee Kang*, K. S. Yeo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
91 Downloads (Pure)


This study concerns wavepackets in laminar turbulent transition in a Blasius boundary layer. While initial amplitude and frequency have well-recognized roles in the transition process, the current study on the combined effects of amplitude, frequency, and bandwidth on the propagation of wavepackets is believed to be new. Because of the complexity of the system, these joint vari-ations in multiple parameters could give rise to effects not seen through the variation of any single parameter. Direct numerical simulations (DNS) are utilized in a full factorial (fully crossed) design to investigate both individual and joint effects of variation in the simulation parameters, with a special focus on three distinct variants of wavepacket transition — the reverse Craik triad formation sequence, concurrent N-type and K-type transition and abrupt shifts in dominant frequency. From our factorial study, we can summarize the key transition trends of wavepackets as follows:
1.Broad bandwidth wavepackets predominantly transit to turbulence via the N-route. This tendency remains strong even as the frequency width is reduced.
2.Narrow bandwidth wavetrains exhibit predominantly K-type transi-tion. The front broadband part of an emerging wavetrain may experi-ence N-type transition, but this wavefront should not be considered as a part of truly narrow-bandwidth wavepackets.
3.K-type transition is the most likely for wavepackets that are initiated with high energy/amplitude and/or with the peak frequency at the lower branch of the neutral stability curve.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104358
Number of pages15
JournalComputers and Fluids
Early online date1 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Direct numerical simulation
  • Laminar turbulent transition
  • Wavepacket


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