Perturbing vortex packets in a turbulent boundary layer

Shaokai Zheng, Ellen K. Longmire

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17 Scopus citations


A zero pressure gradient turbulent boundary layer of Reτ=2500 was perturbed by a single spanwise array of finite cylinders mounted on the bounding surface and extending through the logarithmic region. The cylinder height was H/δ =0.2 (H+=500), where δ is the boundary layer thickness, with an aspect ratio (AR) (height/diameter) of four. Streamwise-spanwise x-y planes of the flow were examined by particle image velocimetry (PIV) up to 7δ downstream at a wall-normal location of z+=300 for cylinder array spacings ranging from 0.2δ to 0.8δ. Average streamwise velocity fields showed a splitting, then merging pattern of cylinder wakes which occurred further downstream as the cylinder spacing increased. Based on measurements at the furthest downstream location, both the spanwise variation of average streamwise velocity and the Fourier content in the instantaneous fields suggested that the case with 0.6δ cylinder spacing, which matched the dominant spanwise scale in the unperturbed flow, yielded the most persistent downstream flow organization. A flying PIV method was implemented to track specific packet structures over a range-2<x/δ <7 with respect to the cylinder array, corresponding to a time scale of 12.4δ/U. Packets approaching the 0.2δ spacing array first lost their organization but then regained it a distance 2δ downstream, suggesting that a persistent outer layer organization propagated inwards into the log region. For arrays with larger spanwise spacing, approaching packets were generally redirected into the spanwise location midway between cylinders and sometimes enhanced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-398
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 29 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Cambridge University Press.


  • boundary layer structure
  • turbulence control
  • turbulent boundary layers


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