Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Reynolds-number effects on the structure of a turbulent channel flow

T.  Wei a1p1 and W. W.  Willmarth a1
a1 Department of Aerospace Engineering, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA

Article author query
wei t   [Google Scholar] 
willmarth ww   [Google Scholar] 


A high resolution, two component laser-Doppler anemometer has been used for turbulence measurements at a high data rate in a channel flow of water. Measurements of the velocity components in the stream direction and in a direction normal to the wall are reported over the Reynolds number range of 3000–40000. The combination of high spatial resolution and high data rates enabled accurate reconstruction of time dependent velocity traces. Long-time statistical averages of these signals clearly show that profiles of the dimensionless turbulence quantities such as turbulence intensities and Reynolds stress are strongly Reynolds-number dependent over a large part of the channel flow. For instance, in the Reynolds-number range of this investigation, it is shown that the fluctuating turbulence quantities do not scale with wall variables even as close as 15 viscous lengths from the wall. The velocity traces and associated power spectra exposed two phenomena which may explain the Reynolds number dependencies.

(Published Online April 26 2006)
(Received April 9 1987)
(Revised July 23 1988)

p1 Present address: Rutgers University, PO Box 909, Piscataway, NJ 08855–0909, USA.