Cross-Stream Vorticity Field Induced by Streamwise Vortices in Unbounded and Wall-Bounded Shear Flows

Research paper by J.S. Marshall

Indexed on: 01 Jan '03Published on: 01 Jan '03Published in: Theoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics


This computational study examines the unsteady cross-stream vorticity structures that form when one or more streamwise vortices are immersed in homogeneous and boundary-layer shear flows. A quasi-two-dimensional limit is considered in which the velocity and vorticity fields, while still possessing three nonzero components, have vanishing gradient in the streamwise direction. This idealization is suitable to applications such as streamwise vortices that occur along a ship hull or airplane fuselage and it can be used as an idealized representation of the quasi-streamwise vortices in the near-wall region of a turbulent boundary layer. In this quasi-two-dimensional idealization, the streamwise velocity has no effect on the cross-stream velocity associated with the vortex. However, the vortex acts to modify the cross-stream vorticity component, resulting in regions of the flow with strong deviations in streamwise velocity. This paper examines the complex structures that form as the cross-stream vorticity field is wrapped up by the vortex and the effect of these structures on the streamwise velocity field, first for vortices immersed in homogeneous shear flow and then for vortices immersed in a boundary layer along a flat wall.