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Scaling of second- and higher-order structure functions in turbulent boundary layers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 March 2015

C. M. de Silva*
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Melbourne, Australia
I. Marusic
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Melbourne, Australia
J. D. Woodcock
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Melbourne, Australia
C. Meneveau
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
Email address for correspondence:


The statistical properties of wall turbulence in the logarithmic region are investigated using structure functions of the streamwise velocity. To this end, datasets that span several orders of magnitude of Reynolds numbers are used, up to $Re_{{\it\tau}}=O(10^{6})$, providing uniquely large scale separations for scrutinising previously proposed scaling laws. For the second-order structure functions strong support is found simultaneously for power-law scalings in the Kolmogorov inertial subrange and for logarithmic scaling at larger scales within the inertial range ($z<r\ll {\it\delta}$, where $z$ is the distance from the wall, $r$ the scale, and ${\it\delta}$ the boundary layer thickness). The observed scalings are shown to agree between the datasets, which include both temporal and spatial velocity signals and span from laboratory to atmospheric flows, showing a degree of universality in the results presented. An examination of higher even-order structure functions also shows support for logarithmic scaling behaviour for $z<r\ll {\it\delta}$, provided that the Reynolds number is sufficiently high. These findings are interpreted by generalising the work of Meneveau & Marusic (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 719, 2013) and introducing bridging relations between higher-order moments of velocity fluctuations and structure functions. Further, a physical model based on the attached-eddy hypothesis is utilised to derive various properties of the structure functions for the energy-containing scales of the logarithmic region. The descriptions derived from the model are shown to be supported by the experimental data.

© 2015 Cambridge University Press 

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