Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 8, Issue 1–2, pp 1–12 | Cite as

The turbulent flow field around a circular cylinder

  • B. Dargahi


The flow field around a circular cylinder mounted vertically on a flat bottom has been investigated experimentally. This type of flow occurs in several technical applications, e.g. local scouring around bridge piers. Hydrogen bubble flow visualization was carried out for Reynolds numbers ranging from 6,600 to 65,000. The main flow characteristic upstream of the cylinder is a system of horse-shoe vortices which are shed quasi-periodically. The number of vortices depends on Reynolds number. The vortex system was found to be independent of the vortices that are shed in the wake of the cylinder. The topology of the separated flow contains several separation and attachment lines which are Reynolds number dependent. In the wake region different flow patterns exist for each constant Reynolds number.


Vortex Reynolds Number Flow Field Fluid Dynamics Pier 
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List of symbols


width of flume


wake width


drag coefficient


coefficient of skin friction


pressure coefficient


cylinder diameter


bed roughness


integral length scale


Reynolds number based on Ym

Re (D)

Reynolds number based on D


Reynolds number based on length


free stream velocity


mean flow velocity

Us, max

maximum velocity deficiency


streamwise velocity


shear velocity

X, Y, Z

cartesian co-ordinate system measured from the cylinder centre

X, Y, Z

longitudinal, vertical and lateral directions


mean flow depth


boundary layer thickness




displacement thickness


momentum thickness


dissipation length scale


kinematic viscosity




shear stress


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Dargahi
    • 1
  1. 1.Hydraulics LaboratoryThe Royal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden

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