Experiments in Fluids

, 54:1481 | Cite as

Phase relationships between large and small scales in the turbulent boundary layer

Research Article


The apparent amplitude modulation effect between large- and small-scale motions in the turbulent boundary layer, including both streamwise and wall-normal velocity components, is explored by cross-correlation techniques. Single-point hotwire and planar PIV measurements are employed to consider the envelopes of small-scale fluctuations in both directions and their correlation with the fluctuations of large-scale motions in the streamwise direction. The degree of correlation is interpreted as a measure of phase lag between the different scale motions, and these phase measurements are used to demonstrate that the fluctuations in the envelope of small-scale motions in both directions tend to lead corresponding fluctuations in the large scales in the streamwise direction. The cospectral density of the cross-correlation between the different scales is used to identify the particular large-scale motions dominant in the modulation effect, and it is shown that the dominant interacting (or ‘modulating’) scale corresponds in size to the very large-scale motions observed in internal flows but not normally observed in the outer region of the boundary layer.


Turbulent Boundary Layer Hotwire Measurement Cospectral Density Instantaneous Velocity Signal Dominant Large Scale 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate Aerospace LaboratoriesCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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