Lagrangian trajectories and settling velocity of snowflakes: Observation of particle-turbulence dynamics

Andras Nemes, Teja Dasari, Michele Guala, Jiarong Hong, Filippo Coletti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

We report on optical field measurements of snow settling in atmospheric turbulence at Reλ = 940. It is found that the snowflakes exhibit hallmark features of inertial particles in turbulence. The snow motion is analyzed in by large-scale particle imaging, while sonic anemometry is used to characterize the flow field. Additionally, the snowflake size and morphology are assessed by digital in-line holography. The low volume fraction and mass loading imply a one-way interaction with the turbulent air. Acceleration probability density functions show wide exponential tails consistent with laboratory and numerical studies of homogeneous isotropic turbulence. Invoking the assumption that the particle acceleration has a stronger dependence on the Stokes number than on the specific features of the turbulence (e.g. precise Reynolds number and large-scale anisotropy), we make inferences on the snowflakes' aerodynamic response time. In particular, we observe that their acceleration distribution is consistent with that of particles of Stokes number in the range 0.1-0.4 based on the Kolmogorov time scale. The still-air terminal velocities estimated for the resulting range of aerodynamic response times are significantly smaller than the measured snow particle fall speed. This is interpreted as a manifestation of settling enhancement by turbulence, which is observed here for the first time in a natural setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication10th International Symposium on Turbulence and Shear Flow Phenomena, TSFP 2017
PublisherInternational Symposium on Turbulence and Shear Flow Phenomena, TSFP10
Volume3
ISBN (Electronic)9780000000002
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Event10th International Symposium on Turbulence and Shear Flow Phenomena, TSFP 2017 - Chicago, United States
Duration: Jul 6 2017Jul 9 2017

Other

Other10th International Symposium on Turbulence and Shear Flow Phenomena, TSFP 2017
CountryUnited States
CityChicago
Period7/6/177/9/17

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