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The Coherent Structure of Turbulent Mixing Layers. I. Similarity of the Primary Vortex Structure. II. Secondary Streamwise Vortex Structure


Bernal, Luis Paulino (1981) The Coherent Structure of Turbulent Mixing Layers. I. Similarity of the Primary Vortex Structure. II. Secondary Streamwise Vortex Structure. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Z52D-SA34.


The primary spanwise organized vortex structure and the secondary streamwise vortex structure of turbulent mixing layers have been investigated. Flow visualization motion pictures of a constant density mixing layer were used to measure the properties of the large scale vortices. It was found that after an initial transition region mean properties of the large scale vortices reach the expected linear growth with downstream distance required by similarity. In the self-similar region, the vortex core area and visual thickness increase continuously during its life-span.

A theoretical model of probability distribution function for the large-scale vortex circulation was developed. This distribution is found to be lognormal and to have a standard deviation, normalized with the mean of 0.28. From this model the mean life-span of the vortices could also be obtained and was found to be 0.67 times the mean life-span position.

The streamwise streak pattern observed by Konrad (1976) and Breidenthal (1978) in plan-view pictures of the mixing layer was investigated, using flow visualization and spanwise concentration measurements. It was confirmed that this pattern is the result of a secondary vortex structure dominated by streamwise, counterrotating vortices. A detailed description of its spatial relation to the primary, spanwise vortex structure is presented. From time average flow pictures, the onset position and initial scale of the secondary structures were determined. From concentration measurements, spanwise variations in mean properties, resulting from the secondary structure, were found. This also showed an increase of the spanwise scale with downstream distance and the existence of the streamwise vortices in the fully developed turbulent region. In this region the mean spacing is found approximately equal to the vorticity thickness.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Aeronautics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Roshko, Anatol
Thesis Committee:
  • Roshko, Anatol (chair)
  • Coles, Donald Earl
  • Dimotakis, Paul E.
  • Ingersoll, Andrew P.
  • Knauss, Wolfgang Gustav
  • Saffman, Philip G.
Defense Date:19 May 1981
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Office of Naval Research (ONR)N00014-79-C-0365
Office of Naval Research (ONR)N00014-76-C-0260
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-08262005-154143
Persistent URL:
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Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:3228
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:26 Aug 2005
Last Modified:12 May 2020 21:50

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