On turbulent spots in a laminar boundary layer subjected to a self-similar adverse pressure gradient

Avi Seifert, Israel J. Wygnanski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

The characteristics of a turbulent spot propagating in a laminar boundary layer subjected to a self-similar adverse pressure gradient (defined by a Falkner-Skan parameter β = -0.1) were investigated experimentally. It was observed that some small differences in the normalized shape of the undisturbed velocity profile caused by the pressure gradient had a major influence on the spreading rate of the spot at comparable Reδ. The rate of spread of the spot in the spanwise direction was affected most dramatically by the pressure gradient where the average angle at which the tips of the spots moved outward relative to the plane of symmetry was 21°. It was noted that the strength and duration of the disturbance initiating the spots had an effect on their spanwise rate of spread. For example, a strong impulsive disturbance and a disturbance caused by a stationary three-dimensional roughness generated spots which spread at a much smaller rate. The interaction of the spot with the wave packet existing beyond its tip was enhanced by the adverse pressure gradient because the Reynolds number of the surrounding boundary layer was everywhere supercritical. Thus, the maximum linear amplification rate in this case is approximately four times larger than in Blasius flow. Some features of the breakdown and their relationship to the shape and the perturbation velocities in the spot are discussed. The normalized length of the calmed region relative to the length of the spot is enhanced by the adverse pressure gradient and by an increase in the intensity of the disturbance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-209
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Volume296
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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