Journal of Fluid Mechanics

On the frequency selection of finite-amplitude vortex shedding in the cylinder wake

a1 Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, Silver Street, Cambridge CB3 9EW, UK


In this paper it is shown that the two-dimensional time-periodic vortex shedding régime observed in the cylinder wake at moderate Reynolds numbers may be interpreted as a nonlinear global structure and its naturally selected frequency obtained in the framework of hydrodynamic stability theory. The frequency selection criterion is based on the local absolute frequency curve derived from the unperturbed basic flow fields under the assumption of slow streamwise variations. Although the latter assumption is only approximately fulfilled in the vicinity of the obstacle, the theoretically predicted frequency is in good agreement with direct numerical simulations for Reynolds numbers Re > 100.

(Received November 15 2001)
(Revised January 26 2002)