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Spatial organization of large- and very-large-scale motions in a turbulent channel flow

  • Jin Lee (a1), Jae Hwa Lee (a1), Jung-Il Choi (a2) and Hyung Jin Sung (a1)

Direct numerical simulations were carried out to investigate the spatial features of large- and very-large-scale motions (LSMs and VLSMs) in a turbulent channel flow ( $\def \xmlpi #1{}\def \mathsfbi #1{\boldsymbol {\mathsf {#1}}}\let \le =\leqslant \let \leq =\leqslant \let \ge =\geqslant \let \geq =\geqslant \def \Pr {\mathit {Pr}}\def \Fr {\mathit {Fr}}\def \Rey {\mathit {Re}}\mathit{Re}_{\tau }=930$ ). A streak detection method based on the streamwise velocity fluctuations was used to individually trace the cores of LSMs and VLSMs. We found that both the LSM and VLSM populations were large. Several of the wall-attached LSMs stretched toward the outer regions of the channel. The VLSMs consisted of inclined outer LSMs and near-wall streaks. The number of outer LSMs increased linearly with the streamwise length of the VLSMs. The temporal features of the low-speed streaks in the outer region revealed that growing and merging events dominated the large-scale (1– $3\delta $ ) structures. The VLSMs $({>}3\delta )$ were primarily created by merging events, and the statistical analysis of these events supported that the merging of large-scale upstream structures contributed to the formation of VLSMs. Because the local convection velocity is proportional to the streamwise velocity fluctuations, the streamwise-aligned structures of the positive- and negative- $u$ patches suggested a primary mechanism underlying the merging events. The alignment of the positive- and negative- $u$ structures may be an essential prerequisite for the formation of VLSMs.

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