Turbulent boundary layers and channels at moderate Reynolds numbers

2010 Journal of Fluid Mechanics  
The behaviour of the velocity and pressure fluctuations in the outer layers of wall-bounded turbulent flows is analysed by comparing a new simulation of the zero-pressure-gradient boundary layer with older simulations of channels. The 99 % boundary-layer thickness is used as a reasonable analogue of the channel half-width, but the two flows are found to be too different for the analogy to be complete. In agreement with previous results, it is found that the fluctuations of the transverse
more » ... e transverse velocities and of the pressure are stronger in the boundary layer, and this is traced to the pressure fluctuations induced in the outer intermittent layer by the differences between the potential and rotational flow regions. The same effect is also shown to be responsible for the stronger wake component of the mean velocity profile in external flows, whose increased energy production is the ultimate reason for the stronger fluctuations. Contrary to some previous results by our group, and by others, the streamwise velocity fluctuations are also found to be higher in boundary layers, although the effect is weaker. Within the limitations of the non-parallel nature of the boundary layer, the wall-parallel scales of all the fluctuations are similar in both the flows, suggesting that the scale-selection mechanism resides just below the intermittent region, y/S =0.3-0.5. This is also the location of the largest differences in the intensities, although the limited Reynolds number of the boundary-layer simulation (Reg «2000) prevents firm conclusions on the scaling of this location. The statistics of the new boundary layer are available from
doi:10.1017/s0022112010001370 fatcat:psf2cj6djjh5daprzthrie47ni