Evolution of clusters of turbulent reattachment due to shear layer instability in flow past a circular cylinder


Chopra, Gaurav
Mittal, Sanjay
Sujith, R. I.


We perform large eddy simulations of flow past a circular cylinder for the Reynolds number (Re) range, 2 × 10 3 ≤ R e ≤ 4 × 10 5 , spanning subcritical, critical, and supercritical regimes. We investigate the spanwise coherence of the flow in the critical and supercritical regimes using complex networks. In these regimes, the separated flow reattaches to the surface in a turbulent state due to the turbulence generated by the shear layer instability. In the early critical regime, the turbulent reattachment does not occur simultaneously at all span locations. It occurs incoherently along the span in clusters. We treat strong surface pressure fluctuations due to the shear layer instability as extreme events and construct time-varying spatial proximity networks where links are based on synchronization between events. This analysis unravels the underlying complex spatiotemporal dynamics by enabling the estimation of characteristics of clusters of turbulent reattachment via the concept of connected components. In the critical regime, the number and size of the clusters increase with the increase in Re. At higher Re in the supercritical regime, they coalesce to form bigger clusters, resulting in increase in spanwise coherence of turbulent reattachment. We find that the size and number of clusters govern the variation of the time-averaged coefficient of drag ( C ¯ D ) in the critical and supercritical regimes. C ¯ D exhibits power-law distribution with the largest cluster size ( C ¯ D ∝ S ¯ C L − 2 5 ) and the most probable cluster size [ C ¯ D ∝ E ( S C ) − 2 5 ].

The authors acknowledge the use of HPC, PARAM Sanganak facilities at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and Cray XC-40, Shaheen, at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia. G.C. and R.I.S. are grateful for the funding provided by the Office of Naval Research Global (O.N.R.G.) (Grant No. SP21221684AEONRG002696) (contract monitor: Dr. D. M. Tepaske).

AIP Publishing

Physics of Fluids


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