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The quiescent core of turbulent channel flow

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 June 2014

Y. S. Kwon*
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia
J. Philip
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia
C. M. de Silva
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia
N. Hutchins
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia
J. P. Monty
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia
Email address for correspondence:


The identification of uniform momentum zones in wall-turbulence, introduced by Adrian, Meinhart & Tomkins (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 422, 2000, pp. 1–54) has been applied to turbulent channel flow, revealing a large ‘core’ region having high and uniform velocity magnitude. Examination of the core reveals that it is a region of relatively weak turbulence levels. For channel flow in the range $\def \xmlpi #1{}\def \mathsfbi #1{\boldsymbol {\mathsf {#1}}}\let \le =\leqslant \let \leq =\leqslant \let \ge =\geqslant \let \geq =\geqslant \def \Pr {\mathit {Pr}}\def \Fr {\mathit {Fr}}\def \Rey {\mathit {Re}}Re_{\tau } = 1000\text {--}4000$, it was found that the ‘core’ is identifiable by regions bounded by the continuous isocontour lines of the streamwise velocity at $0.95U_{CL}$ (95 % of the centreline velocity). A detailed investigation into the properties of the core has revealed it has a large-scale oscillation which is predominantly anti-symmetric with respect to the channel centreline as it moves through the channel, and there is a distinct jump in turbulence statistics as the core boundary is crossed. It is concluded that the edge of the core demarcates a shear layer of relatively intense vorticity such that the interior of the core contains weakly varying, very low-level turbulence (relative to the flow closer to the wall). Although channel flows are generally referred to as ‘fully turbulent’, these findings suggest there exists a relatively large and ‘quiescent’ core region with a boundary qualitatively similar to the turbulent/non-turbulent interface of boundary layers, jets and wakes.

© 2014 Cambridge University Press 

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