Impact of time-dependent nonaxisymmetric velocity perturbations on dynamo action of von Kármán-like flows
We present numerical simulations of the kinematic induction equation in order to examine the dynamo efficiency of an axisymmetric von Karman-like flow subject to time-dependent nonaxisymmetric velocity perturbations. The numerical model is based on the setup of the French von Karman-sodium dynamo (VKS) and on the flow measurements from a water experiment conducted at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain. The principal experimental observations that are modeled in our simulations are nonaxisymmetric vortexlike structures which perform an azimuthal drift motion in the equatorial plane. Our simulations show that the interactions of these periodic flow perturbations with the fundamental drift of the magnetic eigenmode (including the special case of nondrifting fields) essentially determine the temporal behavior of the dynamo state. We find two distinct regimes of dynamo action that depend on the (prescribed) drift frequency of an (m=2) vortexlike flow perturbation. For comparatively slowly drifting vortices we observe a narrow window with enhanced growth rates and a drift of the magnetic eigenmode that is synchronized with the perturbation drift. The resonance-like enhancement of the growth rates takes place when the vortex drift frequency roughly equals the drift frequency of the magnetic eigenmode in the unperturbed system. Outside of this small window, the field generation is hampered compared to the unperturbed case, and the field amplitude of the magnetic eigenmode is modulated with approximately twice the vortex drift frequency. The abrupt transition between the resonant regime and the modulated regime is identified as a spectral exceptional point where eigenvalues (growth rates and frequencies) and eigenfunctions of two previously independent modes collapse. In the actual configuration the drift frequencies of the velocity perturbations that are observed in the water experiment are much larger than the fundamental drift frequency of the magnetic eigenmode that is obtained from our numerical simulations. Hence, we conclude that the fulfillment of the resonance condition might be unlikely in present day dynamo experiments. However, a possibility to increase the dynamo efficiency in the VKS experiment might be realized by an application of holes or fingers on the outer boundary in the equatorial plane. These mechanical distortions provoke an anchorage of the vortices at fixed positions thus allowing an adjustment of the temporal behavior of the nonaxisymmetric flow perturbations.