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Turbulence structure in rough- and smooth-wall boundary layers

  • R. J. VOLINO (a1), M. P. SCHULTZ (a2) and K. A. FLACK (a1)

Turbulence measurements for rough-wall boundary layers are presented and compared to those for a smooth wall. The rough-wall experiments were made on a woven mesh surface at Reynolds numbers approximately equal to those for the smooth wall. Fully rough conditions were achieved. The present work focuses on turbulence structure, as documented through spectra of the fluctuating velocity components, swirl strength, and two-point auto- and cross-correlations of the fluctuating velocity and swirl. The present results are in good agreement, both qualitatively and quantitatively, with the turbulence structure for smooth-wall boundary layers documented in the literature. The boundary layer is characterized by packets of hairpin vortices which induce low-speed regions with regular spanwise spacing. The same types of structure are observed for the rough- and smooth-wall flows. When the measured quantities are normalized using outer variables, some differences are observed, but quantitative similarity, in large part, holds. The present results support and help to explain the previously documented outer-region similarity in turbulence statistics between smooth- and rough-wall boundary layers.

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Journal of Fluid Mechanics
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