Influence of velocity shear on the RayleighTaylor instability
Abstract
The influence of a transverse velocity shear on the RayleighTaylor instability is investigated. It is found that a sheared velocity flow can substantially reduce the growth rate of the RayleighTaylor instability in the short wavelength regime (i.e., kL > 1 where L is the scale length of the density inhomogeneity), and causes the growth rate to maximize at kL < 1.0. Applications of this result to ionospheric phenomena (equatorial spread F (ESF) and ionospheric plasma clouds) are discussed. In particular, the effect of shear could account for, at times, the 100's of km modulation observed on the bottomside of the ESF ionosphere and the km scale size wavelengths observed in barium cloud prompt striation phenomena.
 Publication:

Naval Research Lab. Report
 Pub Date:
 December 1981
 Bibcode:
 1981nrl..reptX....G
 Keywords:

 Density Distribution;
 Flow Stability;
 Shear Properties;
 Transverse Waves;
 Velocity;
 Barium Ion Clouds;
 Earth Ionosphere;
 Mathematical Models;
 Plasma Clouds;
 Plasmas (Physics);
 Spread F;
 Taylor Series;
 Wave Propagation;
 Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer