electronic international standard serial number (EISSN)
It is shown that coherent regions of isotropic two-dimensional (2D) turbulence can be clearly identified in the phase part of the Fourier spectrum. Certain spectral phase events are particularly prominent, and are much stronger in the range of wave numbers corresponding to the dissipation range. It is shown that these events are associated with spatially localized filamentary structures in the 2D vorticity field that historically have been related to the intermittency of dissipation. The identified phase signature provides a particularly transparent diagnostic of the temporal evolution of the coherent coupling of disparate scales in anisostropic intermittent dissipative events. These results open the possibility of using the phase of the Fourier transform as a new turbulence diagnostic that identifies and quantitatively characterizes details pertaining to dissipative events.