EGU22-13293, updated on 28 Mar 2022
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Orientation of swimmers in turbulent flows

Filippo De Lillo1, Matteo Borgnino2, Guido Boffetta1, Kristian Gustafsson3, Bernhard Mehlig3, and Massimo Cencini4
Filippo De Lillo et al.
  • 1Dipartimento di Fisica and INFN, Università di Torino, Turin, Italy
  • 2Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Milan-Bicocca, Milan, Italy
  • 3Department of Physics, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 4Istituto dei Sistemi Complessi, CNR, and INFN, sez. Roma2 “Tor Vergata”, Rome, Italy

Many phytoplankters are able to swim, and are thus not passively transported by the flow. Although usually weak, ocean turbulence can affect the motion of one-celled organisms in nontrivial ways. It is known that an ellipsoidal body can be rotated by the fluid gradients, depending on its aspect ratio.  On the other hand, directed swimming (e.g. following chemical or physiscal cues, in any form of taxis) can play an important role in determining the fitness of an individual, whether for finding food, light or escaping from predators.

By means of theoretical and numerical investigation [1,2], we show how a microswimmer's orientation can be influenced by different scales of the flow and in what condition relevant correlation with the orientation of the flow can be expected.   


[1] Alignment of nonspherical active particles in chaotic flows M Borgnino, K Gustavsson, F De Lillo, G Boffetta, M Cencini, B Mehlig, Physical review letters 123 (13), 138003

[2] M Borgnino, K Gustavsson, F De Lillo, G Boffetta, M Cencini (2021) in preparation.

How to cite: De Lillo, F., Borgnino, M., Boffetta, G., Gustafsson, K., Mehlig, B., and Cencini, M.: Orientation of swimmers in turbulent flows, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13293,, 2022.


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