Analysis of two-dimensional and three-dimensional wakes of long circular cylinders

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The wake behind a bluff body constitutes an intrinsically three-dimensional flow and it is known that two-dimensional simulations yield to an unphysical prediction of the body forces because of the nature of the two-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations. However, three-dimensional simulations are too computationally expensive for cases such as marine risers, which have very large aspect ratios and are exposed to a high Reynolds number flow. A quantitative and qualitative study has been performed to investigate the fundamental differences on the wake of two-dimensional and three-dimensional fixed spanwise periodic cylinders for a Reynolds number of 104. A very fine unifrom grid (503M points) has been used for the near and mid wake range, and it is shown that the wake presents very different vortical structures when the spanwise dimensionality is omitted. In this case, forces such as lift and drag are overpredicted. The kinetic energy spectra of the flow is also investigated to further discuss the physics inherent of each case together and it is found that the contribution of the spanwise velocity on the large wavenumbers is significantly smaller than the other velocity components.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOCEANS 2017 - Aberdeen
ISBN (Electronic)9781509052783
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventOCEANS 2017 - Aberdeen - Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Duration: 19 Jun 201722 Jun 2017


ConferenceOCEANS 2017 - Aberdeen
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • computational fluid dynamics
  • marine risers
  • strip theory
  • two-dimensional turbulence


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