Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 September 2019
Turbulent flow evolution and energy cascades are significantly different in two-dimensional (2-D) and three-dimensional (3-D) flows. Studies have investigated these differences in obstacle-free turbulent flows, but solid boundaries have an important impact on the cross-over from 3-D to 2-D turbulence dynamics. In this work, we investigate the span effect on the turbulence nature of flow past a circular cylinder at $Re=10\,000$. It is found that even for highly anisotropic geometries, 3-D small-scale structures detach from the walls. Additionally, the natural large-scale rotation of the Kármán vortices rapidly two-dimensionalise those structures if the span is 50 % of the diameter or less. We show this is linked to the span being shorter than the Mode B instability wavelength. The conflicting 3-D small-scale structures and 2-D Kármán vortices result in 2-D and 3-D turbulence dynamics which can coexist at certain locations of the wake depending on the domain geometric anisotropy.
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