Influence of confinement on a two-dimensional wake
The spatio-temporal development of an incompressible two-dimensional viscous wake flow confined by two flat slipping plates is investigated by means of direct numerical simulation (DNS), using a spectral Chebyshev multi-domain method. The limit between unstable and stable configurations is determined with respect to several non-dimensional parameters: the confinement, the velocity ratio and two different Reynolds numbers, 100 and 500. The comparison of such limit curves with theoretical results obtained by Juniper (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 565, 2006, pp. 171–195) confirms the existence of a region at moderate confinement where the instability is maximal. Moreover, instabilities are also observed under sustained co-flow, in the form of a vacillating front. Using a direct computation of the two-dimensional base flow, we perform a local linear stability analysis for several velocity profiles prevailing at different spatial locations, so as to determine the local spatio-temporal nature of the flow: convectively unstable or absolutely unstable. Comparisons of the DNS and local stability analysis results are provided and discussed.