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Three-dimensional conditional structure of a high-Reynolds-number turbulent boundary layer

By N. Hutchins, J.P. Monty, B. Ganapathisubramani, H.C.H. Ng and I. Marusic


An array of surface hot-film shear-stress sensors together with a traversing hot-wire probe is used to identify the conditional structure associated with a large-scale skin-friction event in a high-Reynolds-number turbulent boundary layer. It is found that the large-scale skin-friction events convect at a velocity that is much faster than the local mean in the near-wall region (the convection velocity for large-scale skin-friction fluctuations is found to be close to the local mean at the midpoint of the logarithmic region). Instantaneous shear-stress data indicate the presence of large-scale structures at the wall that are comparable in scale and arrangement to the superstructure events that have been previously observed to populate the logarithmic regions of turbulent boundary layers. Conditional averages of streamwise velocity computed based on a low skin-friction footprint at the wall offer a wider three-dimensional view of the average superstructure event. These events consist of highly elongated forward-leaning low-speed structures, flanked on either side by high-speed events of similar general form. An analysis of small-scale energy associated with these large-scale events reveals that the small-scale velocity fluctuations are attenuated near the wall and upstream of a low skin-friction event, while downstream and above the low skin-friction event, the fluctuations are significantly amplified. In general, it is observed that the attenuation and amplification of the small-scale energy seems to approximately align with large-scale regions of streamwise acceleration and deceleration, respectively. Further conditional averaging based on streamwise skin-friction gradients confirms this observation. A conditioning scheme to detect the presence of meandering large-scale structures is also proposed. The large-scale meandering events are shown to be a possible source of the strong streamwise velocity gradients, and as such play a significant role in modulating the small-scale motions

Topics: QC, TA
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.soton.ac.uk:182505
Provided by: e-Prints Soton
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