Structures in magnetohydrodynamic turbulence: Detection and scaling

AMS Citation:
Uritsky, V. M., A. Pouquet, D. L. Rosenberg, P. D. Mininni, and E. F. Donovan, 2010: Structures in magnetohydrodynamic turbulence: Detection and scaling. Physical Review E, 82, 056326, doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.82.056326.
Date:2010-11-30
Resource Type:article
Title:Structures in magnetohydrodynamic turbulence: Detection and scaling
Abstract: We present a systematic analysis of statistical properties of turbulent current and vorticity structures at a given time using cluster analysis. The data stem from numerical simulations of decaying three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic turbulence in the absence of an imposed uniform magnetic field; the magnetic Prandtl number is taken equal to unity, and we use a periodic box with grids of up to 15363 points and with Taylor Reynolds numbers up to 1100. The initial conditions are either an X-point configuration embedded in three dimensions, the so-called Orszag-Tang vortex, or an Arn’old-Beltrami-Childress configuration with a fully helical velocity and magnetic field. In each case two snapshots are analyzed, separated by one turn-over time, starting just after the peak of dissipation. We show that the algorithm is able to select a large number of structures (in excess of 8000) for each snapshot and that the statistical properties of these clusters are remarkably similar for the two snapshots as well as for the two flows under study in terms of scaling laws for the cluster characteristics, with the structures in the vorticity and in the current behaving in the same way. We also study the effect of Reynolds number on cluster statistics, and we finally analyze the properties of these clusters in terms of their velocity–magnetic-field correlation. Self-organized criticality features have been identified in the dissipative range of scales. A different scaling arises in the inertial range, which cannot be identified for the moment with a known self-organized criticality class consistent with magnetohydrodynamics. We suggest that this range can be governed by turbulence dynamics as opposed to criticality and propose an interpretation of intermittency in terms of propagation of local instabilities.
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:An edited version of this paper was published by the American Physical Society. Copyright 2010 American Physical Society.
OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7s46t8f
Publisher's Version: 10.1103/PhysRevE.82.056326
Author(s):
  • V. Uritsky
  • Annick Pouquet - NCAR/UCAR
  • Duane Rosenberg - NCAR/UCAR
  • Pablo Mininni - NCAR/UCAR
  • E. Donovan
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