Journal of Fluid Mechanics

A turbulent equilibrium boundary layer near separation

Per Egil Skåre a1 and Per-åge Krogstad a1
a1 Department of Mechanics, Thermo and Fluid Dynamics, Norwegian Institute of Technology, N-7034 Trondheim-NTH, Norway

Article author query
skåre pe   [Google Scholar] 
krogstad p   [Google Scholar] 


The experimental results for an equilibrium boundary layer in a strong adverse pressure gradient flow are reported. The measurements show that similarity in the mean flow and the turbulent stresses has been achieved over a substantial streamwise distance where the skin friction coefficient is kept at a low, constant level. Although the Reynolds stress distribution across the layer is entirely different from the flow at zero pressure gradient, the ratios between the different turbulent stress components were found to be similar, showing that the mechanism for distributing the turbulent energy between the different components remains unaffected by the mean flow pressure gradient. Close to the surface the gradient of the mixing length was found to increase from Kl [approximate] 0.41 to Kl [approximate] 0.78, almost twice as high as for the zero pressure gradient case. Similarity in the triple correlations was also found to be good. The correlations show that there is a considerable diffusion of turbulent energy from the central part of the boundary layer towards the wall. The diffusion mechanism is caused by a second peak in the turbulence production, located at y/δ [approximate] 0.45. This production was for the present case almost as strong as the production found near the wall. The energy budget for the turbulent kinetic energy also shows that strong dissipation is not restricted to the wall region, but is significant for most of the layer.

(Published Online April 26 2006)
(Received June 24 1993)
(Revised February 16 1994)