In this work we study the long time inviscid limit of the two dimensional Navier–Stokes equations near the periodic Couette flow. In particular, we confirm at the nonlinear level the qualitative behavior predicted by Kelvin’s 1887 linear analysis. At high Reynolds number Re, we prove that the solution behaves qualitatively like two dimensional Euler for times t≲Re1/3, and in particular exhibits inviscid damping (for example the vorticity weakly approaches a shear flow). For times t≳Re1/3, which is sooner than the natural dissipative time scale O(Re), the viscosity becomes dominant and the streamwise dependence of the vorticity is rapidly eliminated by an enhanced dissipation effect. Afterwards, the remaining shear flow decays on very long time scales t≳Re back to the Couette flow. When properly defined, the dissipative length-scale in this setting is ℓD∼Re-1/3, larger than the scale ℓD∼Re-1/2 predicted in classical Batchelor–Kraichnan two dimensional turbulence theory. The class of initial data we study is the sum of a sufficiently smooth function and a small (with respect to Re−1) L2 function.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Mathematics (miscellaneous)
- Mechanical Engineering