Probability distributions of turbulent energy

Mahdi Momeni, Wolf-Christian Müller
2008 Physical Review E  
Probability density functions (PDFs) of scale-dependent energy fluctuations, P[δ E(ℓ)], are studied in high-resolution direct numerical simulations of Navier-Stokes and incompressible magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence. MHD flows with and without a strong mean magnetic field are considered. For all three systems it is found that the PDFs of inertial range energy fluctuations exhibit self-similarity and monoscaling in agreement with recent solar-wind measurements [B. Hnat et al., Geophys. Res.
more » ... Lett. 29(10), 86-1 (2002)]. Furthermore, the energy PDFs exhibit similarity over all scales of the turbulent system showing no substantial qualitative change of shape as the scale of the fluctuations varies. This is in contrast to the well-known behavior of PDFs of turbulent velocity fluctuations. In all three cases under consideration the P[δ E(ℓ)] resemble Lévy-type gamma distributions ∼Δ^-1(-|δ E|/Δ)|δ E|^-γ The observed gamma distributions exhibit a scale-dependent width Δ(ℓ) and a system-dependent γ. The monoscaling property reflects the inertial-range scaling of the Elsässer-field fluctuations due to lacking Galilei invariance of δ E. The appearance of Lévy distributions is made plausible by a simple model of energy transfer.
doi:10.1103/physreve.77.056401 pmid:18643170 fatcat:bddmsitp7jayhbixcpwev5hv2a