Temporal characteristics of the probability density function of velocity in wall-bounded turbulent flows

Angeliki Laskari, Beverley J. McKeon

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The probability density function (p.d.f.) of the streamwise velocity has been shown to indicate the presence of uniform momentum zones in wall-bounded turbulent flows. Most studies on the topic have focused on the instantaneous characteristics of this p.d.f. In this work, we show how the use of time-resolved particle image velocimetry data highlights robust features in the temporal behaviour of the p.d.f. and how these patterns are associated with the change of the number of zones present in the flow over time. The use of a limited resolvent model provides a clear link between this experimentally observed behaviour and the underlying velocity structures and their phase characteristics. This link is further supported by an extended resolvent model consisting of self-similar hierarchies centred in the logarithmic region, with triadically consistent members, yielding much more complex patterns in the p.d.f. Results indicate that the geometric similarity of these members instantaneously, as well as their relative evolution in time (dictated by their wall-normal varying wave speed), both inherent to the model, can reproduce many experimentally identified features.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA6
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • turbulent boundary layers
  • turbulence modelling
  • boundary layer structure

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