Boundary layer flows are ubiquitous in the environment, but their study is often complicated by their thinness, geometric irregularity and boundary porosity. In this paper, we present an approach to making laboratory-based particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurements in these complex flow environments. Clear polycarbonate spheres were used to model a porous and rough bed. The strong curvature of the spheres results in a diffuse volume illuminated region instead of the more traditional finite and thin light sheet illuminated region, resulting in the imaging of both in-focus and significantly out-of-focus particles. Results of a traditional cross-correlation-based PIV-type analysis of these images demonstrate that the mean and turbulent features of an oscillatory boundary layer driven by a free-surface wave over an irregular-shaped porous bed can be robustly measured. Measurements of the mean flow, turbulent intensities, viscous and turbulent stresses are presented and discussed. Velocity spectra have been calculated showing an inertial subrange confirming that the PIV analysis is sufficiently robust to extract turbulence. The presented technique is particularly well suited for the study of highly dynamic free-surface flows that prevent the delivery of the light sheet from above the bed, such as swash flows.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 21, 2002
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