Filamentation of Unstable Vortex Structures via Separatrix Crossing: A Quantitative Estimate of Onset Time

Lorenzo M. Polvani, G. R. Flierl & N. J. Zabusky
The onset of filamentation for compact vortex structures in two-dimensional incompressible flows is elucidated. An estimate is presented for the filamentation time of an unstably perturbed Kirchhoff ellipse, obtained from a linear analysis of the geometry of the instantaneous corotating streamfunction.
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