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Higher order Curvature Flows on Surfaces
We consider a sixth and eighth order conformal flow on Riemannian surfaces, which arise as gradient flows for the Calabi energy with respect to a higher order metric. Motivated by a recent work of Struwe which unified the approach to the Hamilton-Ricci and Calabi flow we extend the method to this higher order flow. Our results contain global existence and exponentially fast convergence to a constant scalar curvature metric.
Uniform bounds on the conformal factor are obtained via the concentration-compactness result for conformal metrics. In the case of the sphere we use the idea of DeTurck's gauge flow to derive first bounds up to conformal transformation.
We prove exponential convergence by showing that the Calabi energy decreases exponentially fast. The problem of the non-trivial kernel in the evolution of Calabi energy on the sphere is resolved by using Kazdan-Warner's identity.