An experimental investigation was conducted at selected locations in the wall region of a three-dimensional turbulent boundary layer relaxing in a nominally zero external pressure gradient behind a transverse hump (in the form of a 30° swept, 5 ft chord, wing-type model) faired into the side wall of a low-speed wind tunnel. The boundary layer (approximately 3·5 in. thick near the first survey station, where the length Reynolds number was 5·5 × 106) had a maximum cross-flow velocity ratio of 0·145 and a maximum cross-flow angle of 21·9° close to the wall. The hot-wire data indicated that the apparent dimensionless velocity profiles in the viscous sublayer are universal and that the wall influence on the hot wire is negligible beyond y+ = 5. The existence of wall similarity in the relaxing flow field was confirmed in the form of a log law based on the resultant mean velocity and resultant friction velocity (obtained from the measured skin friction).
The smallest collateral region extended from the point nearest to the wall (y+ ≈ 1) up to y+ = 9·7, corresponding to a resultant mean velocity ratio (local to free-stream) of 0·187. The unusual feature of these profiles was the presence of a narrow region of slightly decreasing cross-flow angle (1° or less) that extended from the point of maximum cross-flow angle down to the outer limit of the collateral region. A sublayer analysis of the flow field using the measured local transverse pressure gradient slightly overestimated the decrease in cross-flow angle. It is concluded that, in the absence of these gradients, the skewing of the flow could have been much more pronounced practically down to the wall (limited only by the resolution of the sensor), implying a near-wall non-collateral flow field consistent with the equations of motion in the neighbourhood of the wall.
The streamwise relaxation of the mean flow field based on the decay of the cross-flow angle was much faster in the inner layer than in the outer layer. Over the stream-wise distance covered, the mean flow in the inner layer and the wall shear-stress vector relaxed to a two-dimensional state in approximately 10 boundary-layer thicknesses whereas the relaxation of the turbulence was slower and was not complete over the same distance.