Environmental Fluid Mechanics

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 227–250 | Cite as

The flow structure in the wake of a fractal fence and the absence of an “inertial regime”

  • C. J. KeylockEmail author
  • K. Nishimura
  • M. Nemoto
  • Y. Ito
Original Article


Recent theoretical work has highlighted the importance of multi-scale forcing of the flow for altering the nature of turbulence energy transfer and dissipation. In particular, fractal types of forcing have been studied. This is potentially of real significance in environmental fluid mechanics where multi-scale forcing is perhaps more common than the excitation of a specific mode. In this paper we report the first results studying the detail of the wake structure behind fences in a boundary layer where, for a constant porosity, we vary the average spacing of the struts and also introduce fractal fences. As expected, to first order, and in the far-wake region, in particular, the response of the fences is governed by their porosity. However, we show that there are some significant differences in the detail of the turbulent structure between the fractal and non-fractal fences and that these override differences in porosity. In the near wake, the structure of the fence dominates porosity effects and a modified wake interaction length seems to have potential for collapsing the data. With regards to the intermittency of the velocities, the fractal fences behave more similarly to homogeneous, isotropic turbulence. In addition, there is a high amount of dissipation for the fractal fences over scales that, based on the energy spectrum, should be dominated by inter-scale transfers. This latter result is consistent with numerical simulations of flow forced at multiple scales and shows that what appears to be an “inertial regime” cannot be as production and dissipation are both high.


Turbulence Wakes Fractal forcing Intermittency Inter-scale energy transfer 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. J. Keylock
    • 1
    Email author
  • K. Nishimura
    • 2
  • M. Nemoto
    • 3
  • Y. Ito
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Structural EngineeringUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  2. 2.Graduate School of Environmental StudiesNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  3. 3.Nagaoka Institute for Snow and Ice StudiesSuyoshi, NagaokaJapan
  4. 4.Nagaoka Institute for Snow and Ice StudiesShinjoJapan

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