Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Investigations of round vertical turbulent buoyant jets

Panos N.  Papanicolaou a1 and E. John  List a2
a1 University of California San Diego, Department of Ames, B-010, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
a2 W. M. Keck Laboratory of Hydraulics and Water Resources California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

Article author query
papanicolaou pn   [Google Scholar] 
list ej   [Google Scholar] 


The axial and radial velocity components w and u, and the concentration c of a Rhodamine 6G dye were measured simultaneously in a turbulent buoyant jet, using laser-Doppler anemometry combined with a recently developed laser-induced-fluorescence concentration measurement technique. These non-intrusive techniques enable measurements in a region of plume motion where conventional probe-based techniques have had difficulties. The results of the study show that the asymptotic decay laws for velocity and concentration of a tracer transported by the flow are verified experimentally in both jets and plumes. The momentum and volume fluxes and the mean dilution factor are determined in dimensionless form as a function of the normalized distance from the flow source. Contradictory results from earlier experimental plume investigations concerning the decay laws of w and c and the plume width ratio bc/bw are discussed. The turbulence properties and the transition from momentum-driven jets to buoyancy-driven plumes are presented. The turbulence is found to scale with the mean flow as predicted by dimensional analysis and self-similarity. Buoyancy-produced turbulence is found to transport twice as much tracer as jet turbulence. Although velocity statistics in jets and plumes are found to be highly self-similar there is a strong disparity in the distribution of tracer concentration in the two flows. This occurs in the time-average mean flows as well as the r.m.s. turbulent quantities. Instantaneous concentration fluctuations are found to exceed time averages by as much as a factor of 3. The experimental results should provide a reasonable basis for validation of computer models of axisymmetric plumes.

(Published Online April 21 2006)
(Received April 3 1987)
(Revised February 16 1988)