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Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics | Engineering


Helicity statistics are studied in homogeneous turbulent shear flow. Initial mean helicity is imposed on an isotropic turbulence field using a decomposition of the flow into complex-valued helical waves. The initial decay of the turbulent kinetic energy is weakened in the presence of strong mean helicity, consistent with an analytic analysis of the spectral tensor of velocity correlations. While exponential growth of the mean turbulent kinetic energy is obtained, the mean helicity decays. Probability distribution functions (PDFs) of helicity are skewed and show that the imposed mean helicity prevails throughout the simulations. A wavelet-based scale-dependent analysis shows a trend to two dimensionalization for large scales of motion and a preference for helical motion at small scales. The magnitude of the skewness of the PDFs decreases for smaller scales. Joint PDFs indicate a strong correlation of the signs of both, helicity and superhelicity, for all cases. This correlation supports the conjecture that superhelicity dissipates helicity.