Pressure power spectrum in high-Reynolds number wall-bounded flows

Haosen H.A. Xu, Aaron Towne, Xiang I.A. Yang, Ivan Marusic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We study the behaviors of pressure fluctuations in high Reynolds number wall-bounded flows. Pressure fluctuations are small-scale quantities compared to velocity fluctuations in a wall-bounded flow (Tsuji, Marusic, & Johansson, Int. J. Heat Fluid Flow, vol. 61, 2016, pp. 2–11.): at a given wall-normal distance y, the premultiplied velocity spectrum peaks at a streamwise wavelength on the order of the boundary layer thickness (λx=O(δ)), whereas the premultiplied pressure spectrum peaks at λx < O(y). The differing scales of pressure and velocity pose a challenge to modeling, and the scaling of the pressure spectrum in wall-bounded flows remains an unsolved issue from both a theoretical and measurement standpoint. To address this unresolved issue, we incorporate Kolmogorov's theory (K41) within the framework of Townsend's attached eddy hypothesis to account for the small scale nature of pressure fluctuations, leading to the first derivation that is consistent with both theories. Our main result is that at a wall-normal distance in the logarithmic layer the premultiplied pressure power spectrum scales as [kxEpp]∼λx n−1y−(3+n)/4, for λx < y/tan (θ), and as [kxEpp]∼λx (3n−7)/4, for λx > y/tan (θ). Here, θ is the attached-eddy inclination angle, kx is the streamwise wavenumber, the velocity spectrum follows a k−1 scaling for 1/kx > y/tan(θ) and a k−5/3 scaling for 1/kx < y/tan (θ), and n is a Reynolds-number-dependent constant. This result conforms to Kolmogorov's theory of small scale turbulence, i.e., it yields a −7/3 scaling for the small scales at high Reynolds numbers, and also yields the anticipated −1 scaling for the logarithmic layer scales. Detailed analysis shows that pressure and spanwise velocity have differently statistical properties: while an outer peak emerges in the premultiplied spanwise velocity spectrum at high Reynolds numbers, no outer peak is expected in the premultiplied pressure spectrum. The derived scalings are confirmed using data from a direct numerical simulation of a channel flow at friction Reynolds number Reτ=5200.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108620
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow
StatePublished - Aug 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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