Effect of gap flow on the shallow wake of a sharp-edged bluff body – turbulence parameters

A.M Shinneeb, University of Windsor
R. Bala, University of Windsor

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Journal of Turbulence on 19/08/2015, available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14685248.2015.1088156.

The support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada is gratefully acknowledged. The authors thank Arindam Singha for his role in carrying out some of the PIV measurements.


This experimental study was carried out to investigate the turbulent wake generated by a vertical sharp-edged flat plate suspended in a shallow channel flow with a gap near the bed. The objective of this study is to understand the effect of the gap flow on the turbulent wake by studying two different gap heights between the channel bed and the bottom edge of the bluff body. These two cases were compared to the no-gap case which is considered as a reference case. The maximum flow velocity was 0.45 m/s and the Reynolds number based on the water depthwas 45,000. Extensivemeasurements of the flow field in the vertical mid-plane and in the horizontal near-bed, mid-depth, and near-surface planes weremade using particle-image velocimetry (PIV). This paper is the second part of an extensive study to characterise the gap-flow effects and is primarily focused on the mean and instantaneous turbulence quantities as well as coherent structures.

The results revealed that the gap flow increased the transfer of the turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) from the streamwise to the vertical component along the vertical mid-plane. In addition, there is a corresponding increase and spread of the transverse component in the transverse direction as the flow evolves in the downstream direction. The momentum exchange by the Reynolds stress is significantly weak in the vertical mid-plane particularly in the lower half of the water depth, but the gap flow enhanced the momentum exchange in the upper half of the water depth by up to 1% of the freestream velocity squared. Furthermore, the intensity and bursting direction of the turbulence fluctuations in the far field are also affected by the gap flow when it is large. Furthermore, the proper orthogonal decomposition results revealed that the flow contains a large number of structures, and their interactions are responsible for deforming and/or tearing apart the structures, and transferring fluid throughout the velocity field.