Coherent structure dynamics upstream of a long rectangular block at the side of a large aspect ratio channel

Joongcheol Paik, Fotis Sotiropoulos

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Chrisohoides and Sotiropoulos [Phys. Fluids 15, L25 (2003)] recently developed an experimental technique for visualizing and extracting the time scale of coherent Lagrangian structures in turbulent, free-surface flows. They applied their technique to visualize the rich dynamics of the flow in the upstream recirculating region of a long, rectangular, surface-piercing obstacle mounted on the side wall of a shallow open channel at a Reynolds number of 4.2×105 and a Froude number of 0.35. In this paper, detached eddy simulation is carried out for a similar geometrical configuration but using the flat, rigid-lid (zero Froude number) assumption to model the free surface in order to verify and explain for the first time the experimental observations. The calculated flow at the surface in the recirculating zone is found to be dominated by multiple, slowly evolving, large-scale eddies whose structure, dynamics, and Lagrangian time scales are shown to be in good agreement with those reported in the experiment at the free surface. Analysis of the computed solutions shows that the resolved flow in this region is quasiperiodic and that its spatial and temporal richness is due to the complex interaction of the slowly moving recirculating flow and the shear layer that forms at its interface with the fast-moving outer flow. The computed solutions also provide the first comprehensive insight into the highly three-dimensional structure of this flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number115104
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Science Foundation Career Grant No. 9875691, a grant from the Georgia Department of Transportation, and a grant from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, under the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office of the U.S. Department of Energy, Wind and Hydropower Technologies Office.

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