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The large-scale structure of small-scale turbulence, some implications for dispersion

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Turbulence is omnipresent in flows of engineering and environmental interest, and is well known to contribute significantly to, for example, scalar dispersion and skin friction. When modelling the effects of turbulence, it is typically assumed that the small-scale motions are largely independent of the large scales of turbulent motion. However, there is increasing evidence to suggest that this simplification is invalid and the source of major inaccuracy in existing models and scaling laws.

The talk discusses recent advances in the understanding of the spatial structure of the small-scale motions in turbulence. Most importantly, their organisation into shear layers introduces a dependence on the large, energetic motions bounding the layers, which are furthermore flow dependent. These insights allow to clearly identify shortcomings in certain turbulence models and propose direction for improvements. Moreover, these findings call into question basic scaling laws for turbulent dispersion.

This talk is part of the Fluid Mechanics (CUED) series.

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