Analysis of Topological Chaos in Ghost Rod Mixing at Finite Reynolds Numbers Using Spectral Methods



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The effect of finite Reynolds numbers on chaotic advection is investigated for two dimensional lid-driven cavity flows that exhibit topological chaos in the creeping flow regime. The emphasis in this endeavor is to study how the inertial effects present due to small, but non-zero, Reynolds number influence the efficacy of mixing. A spectral method code based on the Fourier-Chebyshev method for two-dimensional flows is developed to solve the Navier-Stokes and species transport equations. The high sensitivity to initial conditions and the exponentional growth of errors in chaotic flows necessitate an accurate solution of the flow variables, which is provided by the exponentially convergent spectral methods. Using the spectral coefficients of the basis functions as solved through the conservation equations, exponentially accurate values of velocity everywhere in the flow domain are obtained as required for the Lagrangian particle tracking. Techniques such as Poincare maps, the stirring index based on the box counting method, and the tracking of passive scalars in the flow are used to analyze the topological chaos and quantify the mixing efficiency.