Hutchins, N.; MARUSIC, IVAN
(Cambridge University Press, 2007)
A regime of very long meandering positive and negative streamwise velocity fluctuations, that we term ‘superstructures’, are found to exist in the log and lower wake regions of turbulent boundary layers. Measurements are made with a spanwise rake of 10 hot-wires in two separate facilities (spanning more than a decade of Ret) and are compared with existing PIV and DNS results. In all cases, we note evidence of a large-scale stripiness in the streamwise velocity fluctuations. The length of these regions can commonly exceed 20d. Similar length scales have been previously reported for pipes and DNS channel flows. It is suggested that the true length of these features is masked from single-point statistics (such as autocorrelations and spectra) by a spanwise meandering tendency. Support for this conjecture is offered through the study of a synthetic flow composed only of sinusoidally meandering elongated low- and high-speed regions. From detailed maps of one-dimensional spectra, it is found that the contribution to the streamwise turbulence intensities associated with the superstructures appears to be increasingly significant with Reynolds number, and scales with outer length variables (d). Importantly, the superstructure maintains a presence or footprint in the near-wall region, seeming to modulate or influence the near-wall cycle.