MiS Preprint Repository

We have decided to discontinue the publication of preprints on our preprint server as of 1 March 2024. The publication culture within mathematics has changed so much due to the rise of repositories such as ArXiV ( that we are encouraging all institute members to make their preprints available there. An institute's repository in its previous form is, therefore, unnecessary. The preprints published to date will remain available here, but we will not add any new preprints here.

MiS Preprint

Phase transition in the passive scalar advection

Krzysztof Gawedzki and Massimo Vergassola


The paper studies the behavior of the trajectories of fluid particles in a compressible generalization of the Kraichnan ensemble of turbulent velocities. We show that, depending on the degree of compressibility, the trajectories either explosively separate or implosively collapse. The two behaviors are shown to result in drastically different statistical properties of scalar quantities passively advected by the flow. At weak compressibility, the explosive separation of trajectories induces a familiar direct cascade of the energy of a scalar tracer with a short-distance intermittency and dissipative anomaly. At strong compressibility, the implosive collapse of trajectories leads to an inverse cascade of the tracer energy with suppressed intermittency and with the energy evacuated by large scale friction. A scalar density whose advection preserves mass exhibits in the two regimes opposite cascades of the total mass squared. We expect that the explosive separation and collapse of Lagrangian trajectories occur also in more realistic high Reynolds number velocity ensembles and that the two phenomena play a crucial role in fully developed turbulence.

turbulence, fluid dynamics

Related publications

2000 Repository Open Access
Krzysztof Gawedzki and Massimo Vergassola

Phase transition in the passive scalar advection

In: Physica / D, 138 (2000) 1-2, pp. 63-90