Transition in the flow due to a rotating sphere: simulating isolated roughness

S. A. W. Calabretto, J. P. Denier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present results of a study on the roughness-induced receptivity of the boundary layer that exists in the flow due to a rotating sphere. Our approach exploits a computational methodology that allows us to capture the full range of fundamental fluid physics that arises in the flow from the early collision of boundary layers due to the sphere's rotation to the development of a radial jet and subsequent instabilities in the spatially and temporally developing flow. We demonstrate that the flow can exhibit a transient convective instability in the form of a spiral vortex, but ultimately the boundary layer returns to a laminar state. Consideration is also given to the impact of this transient instability on the radial jet, which when advected into the radial jet at the sphere's equator serves to render the jet turbulent.

Original languageEnglish
Article number074108
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

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