Journal of Fluid Mechanics


Koopman-mode decomposition of the cylinder wake

Shervin Bagheri 

Linné Flow Centre, Department of Mechanics KTH, SE-10044 Stockholm, Sweden


The Koopman operator provides a powerful way of analysing nonlinear flow dynamics using linear techniques. The operator defines how observables evolve in time along a nonlinear flow trajectory. In this paper, we perform a Koopman analysis of the first Hopf bifurcation of the flow past a circular cylinder. First, we decompose the flow into a sequence of Koopman modes, where each mode evolves in time with one single frequency/growth rate and amplitude/phase, corresponding to the complex eigenvalues and eigenfunctions of the Koopman operator, respectively. The analytical construction of these modes shows how the amplitudes and phases of nonlinear global modes oscillating with the vortex shedding frequency or its harmonics evolve as the flow develops and later sustains self-excited oscillations. Second, we compute the dynamic modes using the dynamic mode decomposition (DMD) algorithm, which fits a linear combination of exponential terms to a sequence of snapshots spaced equally in time. It is shown that under certain conditions the DMD algorithm approximates Koopman modes, and hence provides a viable method to decompose the flow into saturated and transient oscillatory modes. Finally, the relevance of the analysis to frequency selection, global modes and shift modes is discussed.

(Received August 22 2012)

(Revised February 01 2013)

(Accepted May 13 2013)

(Online publication June 11 2013)

Key words

  • instability;
  • nonlinear dynamical systems;
  • vortex shedding


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