Evidence of Non-Universality of von Kármán’s κ

  • Roberto Gaudio
  • Subhasish Dey
Part of the GeoPlanet: Earth and Planetary Sciences book series (GEPS)


A notable universal feature of wall-bounded turbulent flows is the universal logarithmic law of the wall deduced by Theodore von Kármán. This law of the wall describes how time-averaged streamwise velocity changes with distance from the wall. Despite the law of the wall having a universal von Kármán constant κ = 0.41 that governs the slope of the log-law velocity profile, as commonly known over a period of about 80 years, in fluvial streams there are a number of instances of the non-universality of κ. To be specific, it behaves as a variable in flows with low relative submergence, or where there is bed-load and/or suspended-load sediment transport. This article focuses on the aspect of non-universality of κ by inviting various open questions relating to future research directions.


Suspended Sediment Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter Roughness Layer Relative Submergence Streamwise Spacing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The Taylor and Francis Group is kindly acknowledged for having granted free permission of reuse of the content of the chapter Gaudio et al. (2010) (


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Difesa del Suolo “V. Marone”Università della CalabriaRende (CS)Italy
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of TechnologyKharagpurIndia

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