Intermediate Scaling and Logarithmic Invariance in Turbulent Pipe Flow

Research paper by Sourabh S. Diwan, Jonathan F. Morrison

Indexed on: 27 Sep '19Published on: 26 Sep '19Published in: arXiv - Physics - Fluid Dynamics


A three-layer asymptotic structure for turbulent pipe flow is proposed, revealing in terms of intermediate variables, the existence of a Reynolds-number invariant logarithmic region. It provides a theoretical foundation for addressing important questions in the scaling of the streamwise mean velocity and variance. The key insight emerging from the analysis is that the scale separation between two adjacent layers is proportional to $\sqrt{Re_{\tau}}$, rather than $Re_{\tau}$. This suggests that, in order to realise Reynolds-number asymptotic invariance, much higher Reynolds numbers may be necessary to achieve sufficient scale separation. The formulation provides a theoretical basis for explaining the presence of a power law for the mean velocity in pipe flow at low Reynolds numbers and the co-existence of power and log laws at higher Reynolds numbers. Furthermore, the Townsend-Perry `constant' for the variance is shown to exhibit a systematic Reynolds-number dependence.