Skip to main content Accessibility help

A comparative study of the velocity and vorticity structure in pipes and boundary layers at friction Reynolds numbers up to $10^{4}$

  • S. Zimmerman (a1), J. Philip (a1), J. Monty (a1), A. Talamelli (a2), I. Marusic (a1), B. Ganapathisubramani (a3), R. J. Hearst (a3) (a4), G. Bellani (a2), R. Baidya (a1), M. Samie (a1), X. Zheng (a2), E. Dogan (a3), L. Mascotelli (a2) and J. Klewicki (a1)...


This study presents findings from a first-of-its-kind measurement campaign that includes simultaneous measurements of the full velocity and vorticity vectors in both pipe and boundary layer flows under matched spatial resolution and Reynolds number conditions. Comparison of canonical turbulent flows offers insight into the role(s) played by features that are unique to one or the other. Pipe and zero pressure gradient boundary layer flows are often compared with the goal of elucidating the roles of geometry and a free boundary condition on turbulent wall flows. Prior experimental efforts towards this end have focused primarily on the streamwise component of velocity, while direct numerical simulations are at relatively low Reynolds numbers. In contrast, this study presents experimental measurements of all three components of both velocity and vorticity for friction Reynolds numbers $Re_{\unicode[STIX]{x1D70F}}$ ranging from 5000 to 10 000. Differences in the two transverse Reynolds normal stresses are shown to exist throughout the log layer and wake layer at Reynolds numbers that exceed those of existing numerical data sets. The turbulence enstrophy profiles are also shown to exhibit differences spanning from the outer edge of the log layer to the outer flow boundary. Skewness and kurtosis profiles of the velocity and vorticity components imply the existence of a ‘quiescent core’ in pipe flow, as described by Kwon et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 751, 2014, pp. 228–254) for channel flow at lower $Re_{\unicode[STIX]{x1D70F}}$ , and characterize the extent of its influence in the pipe. Observed differences between statistical profiles of velocity and vorticity are then discussed in the context of a structural difference between free-stream intermittency in the boundary layer and ‘quiescent core’ intermittency in the pipe that is detectable to wall distances as small as 5 % of the layer thickness.


Corresponding author

Email address for correspondence:


Hide All
Antonia, R. A., Zhou, T. & Zhu, Y. 1998 Three-component vorticity measurements in a turbulent grid flow. J. Fluid Mech. 374, 2957.
Baidya, R.2015 Multi-component velocity measurements in turbulent boundary layers. PhD thesis, University of Melbourne.
Bradshaw, P. 1971 An Introduction to Turbulence and its Measurement. Pergamon Press.
Chauhan, K., Philip, J. & Marusic, I. 2014a Scaling of the turbulent/non-turbulent interface in boundary layers. J. Fluid Mech. 751, 298328.
Chauhan, K., Philip, J., de Silva, C. M., Hutchins, N. & Marusic, I. 2014b The turbulent/non-turbulent interface and entrainment in a boundary layer. J. Fluid Mech. 742, 119151.
Chauhan, K. A., Monkewitz, P. A. & Nagib, H. M. 2009 Criteria for assessing experiments in zero pressure gradient boundary layers. Fluid Dyn. Res. 41 (2), 021404.
Chin, C., Monty, J. P. & Ooi, A. 2014 Reynolds number effects in DNS of pipe flow and comparison with channels and boundary layers. Intl J. Heat Fluid Flow 45, 3340.
El Khoury, G. K., Schlatter, P., Noorani, A., Fischer, P. F., Brethouwer, G. & Johansson, A. V. 2013 Direct numerical simulation of turbulent pipe flow at moderately high Reynolds numbers. Flow Turbul. Combust. 91 (3), 475495.
Hoyas, S. & Jiménez, J. 2006 Scaling of the velocity fluctuations in turbulent channels up to Re 𝜏 = 2003. Phys. Fluids 18 (1), 011702.
Hultmark, M., Vallikivi, M., Bailey, S. C. C. & Smits, A. J. 2013 Logarithmic scaling of turbulence in smooth- and rough-wall pipe flow. J. Fluid Mech. 728, 376395.
Jiménez, J. & Hoyas, S. 2008 Turbulent fluctuations above the buffer layer of wall-bounded flows. J. Fluid Mech. 611, 215236.
Jiménez, J., Hoyas, S., Simens, M. P. & Mizuno, Y. 2010 Turbulent boundary layers and channels at moderate Reynolds numbers. J. Fluid Mech. 657, 335.
Jorgensen, F. E. 1971 Directional sensitivity of wire and fiber-film probes. DISA Information 11 (3), 17.
Klebanoff, P. S.1955 Characteristics of turbulence in boundary layer with zero pressure gradient. NACA Tech. Rep. 1247.
Kulandaivelu, V.2012 Evolution of zero pressure gradient turbulent boundary layers from different initial conditions. PhD thesis, University of Melbourne.
Kwon, Y. S., Philip, J., de Silva, C. M., Hutchins, N. & Monty, J. P. 2014 The quiescent core of turbulent channel flow. J. Fluid Mech. 751, 228254.
Lee, M. & Moser, R. D. 2015 Direct numerical simulation of turbulent channel flow up to Re 𝜏 ≈ 5200. J. Fluid Mech. 774, 395415.
Marusic, I., Chauhan, K. A., Kulandaivelu, V. & Hutchins, N. 2015 Evolution of zero-pressure-gradient boundary layers from different tripping conditions. J. Fluid Mech. 783, 379411.
Marusic, I., Monty, J. P., Hultmark, M. & Smits, A. J. 2013 On the logarithmic region in wall turbulence. J. Fluid Mech. 716, R3.
McKeon, B. J., Swanson, C. J., Zagarola, M. V., Donnelly, R. J. & Smits, A. J. 2004 Friction factors for smooth pipe flow. J. Fluid Mech. 511, 4144.
Meinhart, C. D. & Adrian, R. J. 1995 On the existence of uniform momentum zones in a turbulent boundary layer. Phys. Fluids 7 (4), 694696.
Monty, J. P., Hutchins, N., Ng, H. C. H., Marusic, I. & Chong, M. S. 2009 A comparison of turbulent pipe, channel and boundary layer flows. J. Fluid Mech. 632, 431442.
Morrill-Winter, C.2016 Structure of mean dynamics and spanwise vorticity in turbulent boundary layers. PhD thesis, University of Melbourne.
Morrill-Winter, C. & Klewicki, J. 2013 Influences of boundary layer scale separation on the vorticity transport contribution to turbulent inertia. Phys. Fluids 25 (1), 015108.
Morrill-Winter, C., Klewicki, J., Baidya, R. & Marusic, I. 2015 Temporally optimized spanwise vorticity sensor measurements in turbulent boundary layers. Exp. Fluids 56 (12), 114.
Morrill-Winter, C., Philip, J. & Klewicki, J. 2017 Statistical evidence of anasymptotic geometric structure to the momentum transporting motions in turbulent boundary layers. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. A 375 (2089), 20160084.
Örlü, R., Fiorini, T., Segalini, A., Bellani, G., Talamelli, A. & Alfredsson, P. H. 2017 Reynolds stress scaling in pipe flow turbulence—first results from CICLoPE. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. A 375 (2089), 20160187.
Samie, M., Marusic, I., Hutchins, N., Fu, M. K., Fan, Y., Hultmark, M. & Smits, A. J. 2018 Fully resolved measurements of turbulent boundary layer flows up to Re 𝜏 = 20 000. J. Fluid Mech. 851, 391415.
Schubauer, G. B. 1954 Turbulent processes as observed in boundary layer and pipe. J. Appl. Phys. 25 (2), 188196.
Sillero, J. A., Jiménez, J. & Moser, R. D. 2013 One-point statistics for turbulent wall-bounded flows at Reynolds numbers up to 𝛿+ ≈ 2000. Phys. Fluids 25 (10), 105102.
Talamelli, A., Persiani, F., Fransson, J. H. M., Alfredsson, P. H., Johansson, A. V., Nagib, H. M., Rüedi, J.-D., Sreenivasan, K. R. & Monkewitz, P. A. 2009 CICLoPE—a response to the need for high Reynolds number experiments. Fluid Dyn. Res. 41 (2), 021407.
Tennekes, H. & Lumley, J. L. 1972 A First Course in Turbulence. The MIT Press.
Townsend, A. A. 1976 The Structure of Turbulent Shear Flow, 2nd edn. Cambridge University Press.
Vincenti, P., Klewicki, J., Morrill-Winter, C., White, C. M. & Wosnik, M. 2013 Streamwise velocity statistics in turbulent boundary layers that spatially develop to high Reynolds number. Exp. Fluids 54 (12), 1629.
Wallace, J. M. & Vukoslavčević, P. V. 2010 Measurement of the velocity gradient tensor in turbulent flows. Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech. 42, 157181.
Zhu, Y. & Antonia, R. A. 1995 The spatial resolution of two x-probes for velocity derivative measurements. Meas. Sci. Technol. 6 (5), 538.
Zimmerman, S., Morrill-Winter, C. & Klewicki, J. 2017 Design and implementation of a hot-wire probe for simultaneous velocity and vorticity vector measurements in boundary layers. Exp. Fluids 58 (10), 148.
MathJax is a JavaScript display engine for mathematics. For more information see

JFM classification

A comparative study of the velocity and vorticity structure in pipes and boundary layers at friction Reynolds numbers up to $10^{4}$

  • S. Zimmerman (a1), J. Philip (a1), J. Monty (a1), A. Talamelli (a2), I. Marusic (a1), B. Ganapathisubramani (a3), R. J. Hearst (a3) (a4), G. Bellani (a2), R. Baidya (a1), M. Samie (a1), X. Zheng (a2), E. Dogan (a3), L. Mascotelli (a2) and J. Klewicki (a1)...


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed