Inner-outer interactions in a turbulent boundary layer overlying complex roughness

Gokul Pathikonda, Kenneth T. Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Hot-wire measurements were performed in a zero-pressure-gradient turbulent boundary layer overlying both a smooth and a rough wall for the purpose of investigating the details of inner-outer flow interactions. The roughness considered embodies a broad range of topographical scales arranged in an irregular manner and reflects the topographical complexity often encountered in practical flow systems. Single-probe point-wise measurements with a traversing probe were made at two different regions of the rough-wall flow, which was previously shown to be heterogeneous in the spanwise direction, to investigate the distribution of streamwise turbulent kinetic energy and large scale-small scale interactions. In addition, two-probe simultaneous measurements were conducted enabling investigation of inner-outer interactions, wherein the large scales were independently sampled in the outer layer. Roughness-induced changes to the near-wall behavior were investigated, particularly by contrasting the amplitude and frequency modulation effects of inner-outer interactions in the rough-wall flow with well-established smooth-wall flow phenomena. It was observed that the rough-wall flow exhibits both amplitude and frequency modulation features close to the wall in a manner very similar to smooth-wall flow, though the correlated nature of these effects was found to be more intense in the rough-wall flow. In particular, frequency modulation was found to illuminate these enhanced modulation effects in the rough-wall flow. The two-probe measurements helped in evaluating the suitability of the interaction-schematic recently proposed by Baars et al., Exp. Fluids 56, 1 (2015)EXFLDU0723-486410.1007/s00348-014-1876-4 for rough-wall flows. This model was found to be suitable for the rough-wall flow considered herein, and it was found that frequency modulation is a "cleaner" measure of the inner-outer modulation interactions for this rough-wall flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044603
JournalPhysical Review Fluids
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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