Three-dimensional structures in a shallow flow

A.R. Cieslik, L.P.J. Kamp, H.J.H. Clercx, G.J.F. van Heijst

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    Contrary to two-dimensional turbulence, decaying turbulence in a shallow fluid layer is characterized by the presence of long-lived meandering currents. This paper investigates the structure of vertical motion present inside the free-surface shallow-fluid layer and its relation with these currents. Downward motion is concentrated in thin elongated strain-dominated regions around instantaneous hyperbolic points and upward flow is observed in rotation-dominated patches around elliptic points. We show that the emergence of meandering currents results from inherent three-dimensionality of the flow due to the presence of the no-slip bottom. Our findings seriously question the assumption of quasi-two-dimensionality of shallow-fluid layer flows.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)89-101
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of hydro-environment research
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • EWI-19449
    • Coherent structures
    • Turbulent flows
    • IR-75831
    • Vortex dynamics
    • METIS-277512
    • Shallow flows

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