Robust classification for the joint velocity-intermittency structure of turbulent flow over fixed and mobile bedforms

Christopher J. Keylock, Arvind Singh, Jeremy G. Venditti, Efi Foufoula-Georgiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Two datasets of turbulence velocities collected over different bedform types under contrasting experimental conditions show similarity in terms of velocity-intermittency characteristics and suggest a universality to the velocity-intermittency structure for flow over bedforms. One dataset was obtained by sampling flow over static bedforms in different locations, and the other was based on a static position but mobile bedforms. A flow classification based on the velocity-intermittency behaviour is shown to reveal some differences from that based on an analysis of Reynolds stresses, boundary layer correlation and turbulent kinetic energy. This may be attributed to the intermittency variable, which captures the local effect of individual turbulent flow structures. Locations in the wake region or the outer layer of the flow are both shown to have a velocity-intermittency behaviour that departs from that for idealized wakes or outer layer flow because of the superposition of localized flow structures generated by bedforms. The combined effect of this yields a velocity-intermittency structure unique to bedform flow. The use of a time series of a single velocity component highlights the potential power of our approach for field, numerical and laboratory studies. The further validation of the velocity-intermittency method for non-idealized flows undertaken here suggests that this technique can be used for flow classification purposes in geomorphology, hydraulics, meteorology and environmental fluid mechanics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1717-1728
Number of pages12
JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Issue number13
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 The Authors. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • Bedforms
  • Quadrants
  • Turbulence
  • Velocity-intermittency structure


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