Analysis and interpretation of instantaneous turbulent velocity fields

R. J. Adrian, K. T. Christensen, Z. C. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

760 Scopus citations


Methods of analyzing and interpreting velocity-field data (both two- and three-dimensional) to understand the kinematics, dynamics, and scales of turbulence are discussed. Reynolds decomposition and vorticity are traditionally used; however, several other methods, including Galilean (constant convection velocity) and LES decompositions (low-pass filtering), in conjunction with critical-point analysis of the local velocity gradient tensor, reveal more about the structure of turbulence. Once the small-scale structures have been identified, it is necessary to assess their importance to the overall dynamics of the turbulence by visualizing the motions they induce and the stresses they impose both on other small-scale vortices and on the larger-scale field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-290
Number of pages16
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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