Calculation of the mean velocity profile for strongly turbulent Taylor-Couette flow at arbitrary radius ratios

Pieter Berghout*, Roberto Verzicco, Richard J.A.M. Stevens, Detlef Lohse, Daniel Chung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


Taylor-Couette (TC) flow is the shear-driven flow between two coaxial independently rotating cylinders. In recent years, high-fidelity simulations and experiments revealed the shape of the streamwise and angular velocity profiles up to very high Reynolds numbers. However, due to curvature effects, so far no theory has been able to correctly describe the turbulent streamwise velocity profile for a given radius ratio, as the classical Prandtl-von Kármán logarithmic law for turbulent boundary layers over a flat surface at most fits in a limited spatial region. Here, we address this deficiency by applying the idea of a Monin-Obukhov curvature length to turbulent TC flow. This length separates the flow regions where the production of turbulent kinetic energy is governed by pure shear from that where it acts in combination with the curvature of the streamlines. We demonstrate that for all Reynolds numbers and radius ratios, the mean streamwise and angular velocity profiles collapse according to this separation. We then develop the functional form of the velocity profile. Finally, using the newly developed angular velocity profiles, we show that these lead to an alternative constant in the model proposed by Cheng et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 890, 2020, A17) for the dependence of the torque on the Reynolds number, or, in other words, of the generalized Nusselt number (i.e. the dimensionless angular velocity transport) on the Taylor number.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA11
JournalJournal of fluid mechanics
Early online date23 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 25 Dec 2020


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Taylor-Couette flow
  • turbulent boundary layers
  • stratified turbulence


Dive into the research topics of 'Calculation of the mean velocity profile for strongly turbulent Taylor-Couette flow at arbitrary radius ratios'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this