Experimental assessment of fractal scale similarity in turbulent flows. Part 2. Higher-dimensional intersections and non-fractal inclusions

Richard D. Frederiksen, Werner J.A. Dahm, David R. Dowling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Results from an earlier experimental assessment of fractal scale similarity in one-dimensional spatial and temporal intersections in turbulent flows are here extended to two- and three-dimensional spatial intersections. Over 25000 two-dimensional (2562) intersections and nearly 40 three-dimensional (2563) intersections, collectively representing more than 2.3 billion data points, were analysed using objective statistical methods to determine which intersections were as fractal as stochastically scale-similar fractal gauge sets having the same record length. Results for the geometry of Sc ≫ 1 scalar isosurfaces and the scalar dissipation support span the range of lengthscales between the scalar and viscous diffusion scales λD and λv. The present study finds clear evidence for stochastic fractal scale similarity in the dissipation support. With increasing intersection dimension n, the data show a decrease in the fraction of intersections satisfying the criteria for fractal scale similarity, consistent with the presence of localized non-fractal inclusions. Local scale similarity analyses on three-dimensional (643) intersections directly show such intermittent non-fractal inclusions with characteristic lengthscale comparable to λv. These inclusions lead to failure of the relation among codimensions Dn ≡ D-(3-n) when applied to simple average dimensions, which has formed the basis for most previous assessments of fractal scale-similarity. Unlike the dissipation support geometry, scalar isosurface geometries from the same data were found not to be as fractal as fractional Brownian motion gauge sets over the range of scales examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-126
Number of pages38
Journaljournal of fluid mechanics
StatePublished - May 10 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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