Roughness-induced secondary flows in stably stratified turbulent boundary layers

Pourya Forooghi, Xiang I.A. Yang, Mahdi Abkar

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24 Scopus citations


Spanwise heterogeneous roughness, more specifically, spanwise-adjacent strips of relatively high and low roughness, is known to cause large-scale secondary flows in the vertical domain in neutral turbulent boundary layers. In this work, we study the response of secondary vortices to thermal stratification with focus on the stably stratified case. We systematically vary the Monin-Obukhov (MO) length scale from L/h = 0.3, which corresponds to relatively strong stratification, to ∞, which corresponds to the neutral condition. Here, L is the MO length and h is an outer length scale. The results show that stable stratification suppresses the vertical motions and reduces the vertical size and strength of the first off-wall secondary vortex. Moreover, the reduced vertical extent of the first off-wall vortex and the shear near its top together give rise to a second vortex, and the second to a third vortex. This leads to a stack of secondary vortices in a stably stratified boundary layer flow with decreasing strength when moving away from the wall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105118
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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