In this study, we investigate the nature of a Reynolds ridge formed by wind shear. We have simultaneously imaged the water surface, with a deposit of a monolayer of the surfactant, oleyl alcohol, subject to different wind shears, by using a high-resolution infrared (IR) detector and a high-speed (HS) digital camera. The results reveal that the regions around the wind-driven Reynolds ridge, which have subtle manifestations in visual imagery, possess surprisingly complex hydrodynamical and thermal structures when observed in the infrared. The IR measurements reveal a warm, clean region upstream of the ridge, which is composed of the so called fishscale structures observed in earlier investigations. The region downstream of the ridge is composed of colder fluid which forms two counter-rotating cells. A region of intermediate temperature, which we call the mixing (wake) region, forms immediately downstream of the ridge near the channel centerline. By measuring the velocity of the advected fishscales, we have determined a surface drift speed of about 2% of the wind speed. The spanwise length-scale of the structures has also been used to estimate the wind shear. In addition, a comparison of IR and visual imagery shows that the thermal field is a very sensitive indicator of the exact position of the ridge itself.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 19, 2004
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