### Abstract

A weakly nonlinear stability theory is developed for a rotating flow confined in a cylinder of elliptic cross-section. The straining field associated with elliptic deformation of the cross-section breaks the SO(2)-symmetry of the basic flow and amplifies a pair of Kelvin waves whose azimuthal wavenumbers are separated by 2, being referred to as the Moore-Saffman-Tsai-Widnall (MSTW) instability. The Eulerian approach is unable to fully determine the mean flow induced by nonlinear interaction of the Kelvin waves. We establish a general framework for deriving the mean flow by a restriction to isovortical disturbances with use of the Lagrangian variables and put it on the ground of the generalized Lagrangian-mean theory. The resulting formula reveals enhancement of mass transport in regions dominated by the vorticity of the basic flow. With the mean flow at hand, we derive unambiguously the weakly nonlinear amplitude equations to third order for a nonstationary mode. By an appropriate normalization of the amplitude, the resulting equations are made Hamiltonian systems of four degrees of freedom, possibly with three first integrals identifiable as the wave energy and the mean flow.

Original language | English |
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Article number | 014042 |

Journal | Physica Scripta |

Volume | 88 |

Issue number | T155 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - Jul 1 2013 |

### All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Mathematical Physics
- Condensed Matter Physics

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## Cite this

*Physica Scripta*,

*88*(T155), [014042]. https://doi.org/10.1088/0031-8949/2013/T155/014042