Azimuthal structure of turbulence in high Reynolds number pipe flow

Sean C.C. Bailey, Marcus Hultmark, Alexander J. Smits, Michael P. Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Two-point hot-wire measurements of streamwise velocity were performed in the logarithmic and wake regions of turbulent pipe flow for Reynolds numbers, based on pipe diameter, ranging from 7.6 × 104 to 8.3 × 106 at four wall-normal positions with azimuthal probe separation. The azimuthal correlations were found to be consistent with the presence of very large-scale coherent regions of low-wavenumber, low-momentum fluid observed in previous studies of wall-bounded flows and were found to be independent of changing Reynolds number and surface roughness effects. At the edge of the logarithmic layer the azimuthal scale determined from the correlations was found to be similar to that observed for channel flows but larger than that observed for boundary layers, inconsistent with the concept of a universal logarithmic region. As the wall-normal position increased outside the logarithmic layer, there was a decrease in azimuthal scale relative to that of channel flow. Using cross-spectral analysis, high-wavenumber motion was found to grow azimuthally with wall-normal distance at a faster rate than the low-wavenumber motions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-138
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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