The structure of vortex packets in wall turbulence

Christopher D. Tomkins, Ronald Adrian, S. Balachandar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


Recent experimental evidence in turbulent wall flows shows that hairpin vortices occur in groups and propagate streamwise with relatively little dispersion. These groups, or “packets”, grow outward from the buffer layer to more than one-half of the thickness of the boundary layer. As the older packets grow in size, newer packets are generated near the wall to form a hierarchy of hairpin packets. Direct numerical simulations starting from a single hairpin vortex in a clean unidirectional turbulent mean flow background show how these packets may be formed in the near wall region by a viscous autogeneration mechanism that is similar in many regards to the mechanism proposed by Smith and co-workers [1]. The organization of hairpin vortices into packets and the interactions of those packets is an important feature of wall turbulence that provides a new paradigm by which many seemingly unconnected aspects of wall turbulence can be explained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication29th AIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9780000000002
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes
Event29th AIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference - Albuquerque, United States
Duration: Jun 15 1998Jun 18 1998


Other29th AIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Aerospace Engineering


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