This paper brings new insights on an experiment, measuring the Kelvin–Helmholtz (KH) instability evolution, performed on the OMEGA-60 laser facility. Experimental radiographs show that the initial seed perturbations in the experiment are of multimode spectrum with a dominant single-mode of 16 μm wavelength. In single-mode-dominated KH instability flows, the mixing zone (MZ) width saturates to a constant value comparable to the wavelength. However, the experimental MZ width at late times has exceeded 100 μm, an order of magnitude larger. In this work, we use numerical simulations and a statistical model in order to investigate the vortex dynamics of the KH instability for the experimental initial spectrum. We conclude that the KH instability evolution in the experiment is dominated by multimode, vortex-merger dynamics, overcoming the dominant initial mode.

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