This paper analyses the interaction between the turbulence and free surface. The phenomenon takes place in many natural flows and industrial processes. In the present experiments, turbulence is generated by a vertically oscillating grid moving beneath the free surface. Fluid velocity has been measured through a hot-film anemometer, and the free surface elevation has been measured by an ultrasonic sensor. Integral length scales and several turbulence estimators have been computed. In order to detect the generation of turbulence near the free surface, the correlation between free surface elevation and the underneath flow velocity has been studied, as well as the time lag between turbulence and free surface. The free surface dynamics has been characterized by a velocity scale and a length scale. The kinetic energy associated with the free surface fluctuations increases with the Reynolds number at a rate depending on the frequency of the grid movement. For Reynolds number larger than ≈1000, however, the relationships collapse to a single curve characterized by a lower rate. The present experiments do not achieve the inertial sub-range in the vertical velocity fluctuations, and the estimated spectrum decays with an exponent smaller than −3, which is the typical value for the two-dimensional turbulence in the inertial sub-range. The macro length scale, estimated by using the Taylor’s frozen turbulence hypothesis, experiences a decay away from the grid, which follows reasonably well the profile of Thompson and Turner (J Fluid Mechanics 67: 349–368, 1975). The micro length scale reduces immediately beneath the free surface, which can be interpreted by the increase of dissipation rate in the subsurface layer. The classification diagram by Brocchini and Peregrine (J Fluid Mech 449: 225–254, 2001) indicates that most tests fall in the weak turbulence domain, but some tests fall in the wavy domain. The vertical velocity fluctuations and the free surface level show a significant correlation with a negative phase lag, that is, the free surface fluctuations are ahead of the vertical velocity fluctuations.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 4, 2012
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