The structure of two-dimensional separation

L. L. Pauley, P. Moin, W. C. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The separation of a two-dimensional laminar boundary layer under the influence of a suddenly imposed external adverse pressure gradient was studied by time accurate numerical solutions in the Navier- Stokes equations. It was found that a strong adverse pressure gradient created periodic vortex shedding from the separation. The general features of the time averaged results were similar to experimental results from laminar separation bubbles. Comparisons were made with the 'steady' separation experiments of Gaster (1966). It was found that his 'bursting' occurs under the same conditions as the authors periodic shedding, suggesting that bursting is actually periodic shedding which has been time averaged. The Strouhal number based on the shedding frequency, local free-stream velocity, and boundary layer momentum thickness at separation was independent of the Reynolds number and the pressure gradient. A criterion for onset of shedding was established. The shedding frequency was the same as that predicted for the most amplified linear inviscid instability of the separated shear layer. (A)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Journal[No source information available]
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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