Nonperiodic eddy pulsations

Water Resources Research
By:  and 



Recirculating flow in lateral separation eddies is typically weaker than main stem flow and provides an effective environment for trapping sediment. Observations of recirculating flow and sedimentary structures demonstrate that eddies pulsate in size and in flow velocity even when main stem flow is steady. Time series measurements of flow velocity and location of the reattachment point indicate that these pulsations are nonperiodic. Nonperiodic flow in the lee of a channel margin constriction is grossly different from the periodic flow in the lee of a cylinder that is isolated in a flow. Our experiments demonstrate that placing a flow-parallel plate adjacent to a cylinder is sufficient to cause the leeside flow to change from a periodic sequence of vortices to a nonperiodically pulsating lateral separation eddy, even if flow conditions are otherwise unchanged. Two processes cause the leeside flow to become nonperiodic when the plate is added. First, vortices that are shed from the cylinder deform and become irregular as they impact the plate or interfere with remnants of other vortices near the reattachment point. Second, these deformed vortices and other flow structures are recirculated in the lateral separation eddy, thereby influencing the future state (pressure and momentum distribution) of the recirculating flow. The vortex deformation process was confirmed experimentally by documenting spatial differences in leeside flow; vortex shedding that is evident near the separation point is undetectable near the reattachment point. Nonlinear forecasting techniques were used in an attempt to distinguish among several possible kinds of nonperiodic flows. The computational techniques were unable to demonstrate that any of the nonperiodic flows result from low-dimensional nonlinear processes.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Nonperiodic eddy pulsations
Series title Water Resources Research
DOI 10.1029/95WR00472
Volume 31
Issue 6
Year Published 1995
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Coastal and Marine Geology Program
Description 11 p.
First page 1595
Last page 1605
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page