Time development of small disturbances to plane Couette Flow

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Shepherd, Theodore G. (1985)

The question of linear sheared-disturbance evolution in constant-shear parallel flow is here reexamined with regard to the temporary-amplification phenomenon noted first by Orr in 1907. The results apply directly to Rossby waves on a beta-plane, and are also relevant to the Eady model of baroclinic instability. It is shown that an isotropic initial distribution of standing waves maintains a constant energy level throughout the shearing process, the amplification of some waves being precisely balanced by the decay of the others. An expression is obtained for the energy of a distribution of disturbances whose wavevectors lie within a given angular wedge and an upper bound derived. It is concluded that the case for ubiquitous amplification made in recent studies may have been somewhat overstated: while carefully-chosen individual Fourier components can amplify considerably before they decay. a general distribution will tend to exhibit little or no amplification.
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