Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Turbulent oscillatory flow over rough beds

J. F. A.  Sleath a1
a1 Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1PZ, UK

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Velocity measurements are presented for turbulent oscillatory flow over rough beds. Two components of velocity were measured with a laser-Doppler anemometer and the rough beds consisted of a single layer of sand, gravel or pebbles on a flat surface. Turbulence intensities showed significant variation during the course of the cycle. Maximum turbulence intensity propagated out from the bed at a more or less constant velocity for all beds. Variation of time-mean turbulence intensity with height was qualitatively similar to that observed in steady flows. Reynolds stress showed several interesting features. Near the bed, maximum Reynolds stress was in phase with one of the two peaks of turbulence intensity but further out it was in phase with the other, i.e. the phase of maximum Reynolds stress showed a 180° phase shift at a certain height above the bed. A related effect was seen in the time-mean eddy viscosity which was negative near the bed but positive further out. It is suggested that these effects are caused by the jets of fluid associated with vortex formation and ejection in oscillatory flow over rough beds. Maximum Reynolds stress was also significantly less than the horizontal force per unit area of bed obtained from the momentum integral. Eddy viscosity and mixing length were found to vary significantly during the course of the cycle. Variation with height of time-mean values of these variables showed similar trends, except in the near-bed region, to those observed in steady flow but derived values of the Kármán constant were significantly lower. Non-dimensional defect velocity appeared to show dependence on a/ks as well as on y/δ in the outer layer away from the bed, even at high Reynolds numbers.

(Published Online April 21 2006)
(Received August 6 1986)