Visualizing the very-large-scale motions in turbulent pipe flow

Leo H.O. Hellström, Aman Sinha, Alexander J. Smits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Time-resolved stereoscopic particle image velocimetry is used to investigate the structure of the very-large-scale motions (VLSMs) in fully developed turbulent pipe flow. The motions are visualized using snapshot proper orthogonal decomposition. It is shown that the structures can be reconstructed using a small number of the most energetic modes. The results strongly suggest a possible connection between the origin of the VLSM and linear stability analysis. The structures are seen to be highly three-dimensional, meandering azimuthally and radially. At this Reynolds number (ReD=12 500), they occasionally extend from the near-wall region to the wake region of the pipe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number011703
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 3 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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