The effects of riblets on one wall of a channel bounding fully developed turbulent flow are investigated. Various perturbation elements including wires, fins and slots are modelled in order to understand the effects of riblets. It is found that widely spaced riblets, fins and wires create a substantial increase in turbulent activity just above the element. These elements are also found to produce a remarkable pattern of secondary mean flows consisting of matched pairs of streamwise vortices. The secondary flows occur only if the bulk flow is turbulent and their characteristics depend on element geometry. It is suggested that these secondary flows are strongly linked with the increase in drag experienced by widely spaced riblets in experimental studies. The secondary flows are probably caused by two-dimensional spanwise sloshing of the flow, inherent in a turbulent boundary layer, interacting with the stream-aligned element. This two-dimensional mechanism is investigated with a series of two-dimensional simulations of sloshing flow over isolated elements. Grid resolution and domain size checks are made throughout the investigation.
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