Experiments on fully developed turbulent flow in a channel which is rotating at a steady rate about a spanwise axis are described. The Coriolis force components in the region of two-dimensional mean flow affect both local and global stability. Three stability-related phenomena were observed or inferred: (i) the reduction (increase) of the rate of wall-layer streak bursting in locally stabilized (destabilized) wall layers; (ii) the total suppression of transition to turbulence in a stabilized layer; (iii) the development of large-scale roll cells on the de-stabilized side of the channel by growth of a Taylor-Gortler vortex instability.
An appropriate local stability parameter is the Richardson number formulated by Bradshaw (1969) for this case and the analogous cases of flow over curved walls and of shear-layer flow with density stratification. Local effects of rotational stabilization, such as reduction of the turbulent stress in wall layers, can be related to the local Richardson number in a simple way. This paper not only investigates this effect, but also, by methods of flow visualization, exposes some of the underlying structure changes caused by rotation.