Spatial ‘intermittency’ in the velocity field fine-structure of fully turbulent flow regions, first observed by Batchelor & Townsend (1949), is studied further here in grid-generated nearly isotropic turbulence and on the axis of a round jet. At large enough Reynolds numbers, appropriately filtered hot-wire anemometer signals appear intermittent as the turbulent patterns are convected past the hot wire by the mean flow. Measurements show that there is a decrease in the relative fluid volume (equal to the ‘intermittency factor’) occupied by fine-structure of given size as the turbulence Reynolds number is increased. They show also that, for a fixed Reynolds number, the relative volume is smaller for smaller fine-structure. The average linear dimension of the fine-structure regions turns out to be much larger than the sizes of fine-structure therein. At Rλ, = 110, for example, the ratio ranges from 15 to 30, decreasing with decreasing ‘eddy’ size. It appears to be approaching an asymptote with increasing Rλ.
The flatness factors and probability distributions of the first derivative, the second derivative, band-passed and high-passed velocity fluctuation signals were also measured. The turbulence Reynolds numbers Rλ ranged from 12 to 830. The flatness factors of the first and the second derivatives increase monotonically with Rλ. Those of the second derivative vary with Rλ0.25 for Rλ < 100, and with Rλ0.75 for Rλ > 300. No indication of asymptotic constant values was observed for Rλ up to the order of one thousand.
The probability distributions of velocity fluctuations and large-scale signals are nearly normal, while the small-scale signals are not. The flatness factor of the filtered band-pass velocity signal increases with increasing frequency.
At the larger Reynolds numbers, the square of the signal associated with large wave-numbers may be approximated by a log-normal probability distribution for amplitudes when probabilities fall between 0·3 and 0·95, in limited agreement with the theory of Kolmogorov (1962), Oboukhov (1962), Gurvich & Yaglom (1967).