## Abstract

In this problem a mean turbulent shear layer originally exists, homogeneous in the streamwise direction, formed perhaps by previous instabilities, but in equilibrium with the fine-grained turbulence. At a given time, a large eddy of a fixed horizontal wavenumber is initiated. We study the subsequent time development of the non-equilibrium interactions between the three components of flow as they adjust towards ultimate simultaneous equilibrium, using the integrated energy-balance conservation equations to derive the amplitude equations. This necessarily involves the usual averaging procedure and a conditional or phase-averaging procedure by which the large structure motion is educed from the total fluctuations. In general, the mean flow growth is due to the energy transfer to both fluctuating components, the large eddy gains energy from the mean motion and exchanges energy with the fine-grained turbulence, while the fine-grained turbulence gains energy from the mean flow and exchanges with the large eddy and converts its energy to heat through viscous dissipation of the smallest scales. The closure problem is obtained via the shape assumptions which enter into the interaction integrals. The situation in which the fine-grained turbulent kinetic energy production and viscous dissipation are in local balance is considered, the displacement from equilibrium being due only to the energy transfer from the large eddy. The large eddy shape is taken to be two-dimensional, instability-wavelike, with its vorticity axis perpendicular to the direction of the mean outer stream. Prior to averaging, detailed but approximate calculations of the wave-induced turbulent Reynolds stresses are obtained; the product of these stresses with the appropriate large-eddy rates of strain give the energy transfer mechanism between the two disparate scales of fluctuations. Coupled, nonlinear amplitude or energy density equations for the three components of motion are obtained, the coefficients of which are the interaction integrals guided by the shape assumptions. It is found that for the special case of parallel flow, the energy of the large eddy first undergoes a hydrodynamic-instability type of amplification but eventually decays due to the energy transfer to the fine-grained turbulence, while the turbulent kinetic energy is displaced from an original level of equilibrium to a new one because of the ability of the large eddy to negotiate an indirect energy transfer from the mean flow. For the growing shear layer, approximate considerations show that if the mechanism of energy transfer from the large to the small scale is eventually weakened by the shear layer growth compared to the large-eddy production mechanism so that the amplification and decay process repeats, 'bursts' of the remnant of the same large eddy will occur repeatedly until an ultimate equilibrium is reached among the three interacting components of motion. However, for the large eddy whose wavenumber corresponds to that of the initially most amplified case, the 'bursting' phenomenon is much less pronounced and equilibrium is very nearly reached at the end of the very first 'burst'.