Magnetohydrodynamic shear instabilities arising from interacting vorticity waves

E. Heifetz, J. Mak

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The presence of a background magnetic field is known to have a stabilising as well as a destabilising effect for shear flow instabilities. To explain the reason for this, we extend the Counter-propagating Rossby Waves mechanism, well known in the geophysical fluid dynamics community, to the magnetohydrodynamic setting. It is demonstrated here that wave displacement leads to a magnetic field configuration that results in an appropriate vorticity distribution, and, via the non-local velocity field generated by the local vorticity anomalies, action-at-a-distance results in a constructive interaction between two waves and leads to shear instability. The existence of shear instability then rests upon whether the chosen basic state supports such a configuration required for constructive interference.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWIT Transactions on Engineering Sciences
EditorsCarlos A. Brebbia, S. Hernandez, M. Rahman
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781845647902
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2014
Event10th International Conference on Advances in Fluid Mechanics, AFM 2014 - A Coruna, Spain
Duration: 1 Jul 20143 Jul 2014

Publication series

NameWIT Transactions on Engineering Sciences
ISSN (Print)1743-3533


Conference10th International Conference on Advances in Fluid Mechanics, AFM 2014
CityA Coruna


  • Magnetohydrodynamics
  • Shear instability mechanism
  • Vorticity actionat-a-distance


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