Predator-prey encounters in turbulent waters

J. Mann, Søren Ott, H.L. Pécseli, J. Trulsen

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    Abstract

    With reference to studies of predator-prey encounters in turbulent waters, we demonstrate the feasibility of an experimental method for investigations of particle fluxes to an absorbing surface in turbulent flows. A laboratory experiment is carried out, where an approximately homogeneous and isotropic turbulent flow is generated by two moving grids. The simultaneous trajectories of many small neutrally buoyant polystyrene particles are followed in time. Selecting one of these to represent a predator, while the others are considered as prey, we obtain estimates for the time variation of the statistical average of the prey flux into a suitably defined “sphere of interception.” The variation of this flux with the radius in the sphere of interception, as well as the variation with basic flow parameters is well described by a simple model, in particular for radii smaller than a characteristic length scale for the turbulence. Also the Eulerian counterpart of the problem has been analyzed, and the particle fluxes from the two studies compared.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPhysical Review E
    Volume65
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)026304
    Number of pages4
    ISSN1063-651X
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2002

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