Local topology via the invariants of the velocity gradient tensor within vortex clusters and intense Reynolds stress structures in turbulent channel flow

Abel-John Buchner, Adrián Lozano-Durán, Vassili Kitsios, Callum Atkinson, Julio Soria

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Previous works have shown that momentum transfer in the wall-normal direction within turbulent wall-bounded flows occurs primarily within coherent structures defined by regions of intense Reynolds stress [1]. Such structures may be classified into wall-attached and wall-detached structures with the latter being typically weak, small-scale, and isotropically oriented, while the former are larger and carry most of the Reynolds stresses. The mean velocity fluctuation within each structure may also be used to separate structures by their dynamic properties. This study aims to extract information regarding the scales, kinematics and dynamics of these structures within the topological framework of the invariants of the velocity gradient tensor (VGT). The local topological characteristics of these intense Reynolds stress structures are compared to the topological characteristics of vortex clusters defined by the discriminant of the velocity gradient tensor. The alignment of vorticity with the principal strain directions within these structures is also determined, and the implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012005
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2016

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