Recirculation cells in a wide channel

Abstract : Secondary flow cells are commonly observed in straight laboratory channels, where they are often associated with duct corners. Here, we present velocity measurements acquired with an acoustic Doppler current profiler in a straight reach of the Seine river (France). We show that a remarkably regular series of stationary flow cells spans across the entire channel. They are arranged in pairs of counter-rotating vortices aligned with the primary flow. Their existence away from the river banks contradicts the usual interpretation of these secondary flow structures, which invokes the influence of boundaries. Based on these measurements, we use a depth-averaged model to evaluate the momentum transfer by these structures, and find that it is comparable with the classical turbulent transfer.
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Hugo Chauvet, Olivier Devauchelle, François Métivier, Eric Lajeunesse, Angela Limare. Recirculation cells in a wide channel. Physics of Fluids, American Institute of Physics, 2014, 26 (1), 17 p. ⟨10.1063/1.4862442⟩. ⟨hal-01001919⟩

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