Stabilization of cylinder wakes in shallow water flows by means of roughness elements: an experimental study Academic Article uri icon


  • Shallow wakes that occur in a wide range of natural flows tend to generate instabilities that develop into large, 2D coherent structures (2DCS). We present the results of an experimental study to stabilize shallow wakes by local, enhanced bottom roughness. Two successful stabilization strategies are compared to a base case of an unsteady bubble wake. First, localized bed roughness is placed in the lateral shear layers near the shoulders of the cylinder. Second, a local roughness element is placed at the end of the recirculation bubble, in the downstream region where large-scale vortices would normally shed. Dye visualization is used to assess the qualitative behavior of the wake, and two-component laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) measurements are made to measure the Reynolds stress distributions and time-averaged velocity profiles. In both stabilization cases, a minimum patch size of the enhanced roughness elements is required for stabilization, which depends on the momentum thickness of the shear layers and the locations of enhanced Reynolds shear stresses. The main effect of the wake stabilization is a reduction in momentum exchange with the ambient flow due to damping of the large 2DCS. This reduction in eddy diffusivity results in a narrower wake and a slower decay of the centerline velocity deficit with downstream distance compared to the base case of an unsteady bubble wake. Springer-Verlag 2005.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Negretti, M. E., Socolofsky, S. A., Rummel, A. C., & Jirka, G. H.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Negretti, ME||Socolofsky, SA||Rummel, AC||Jirka, GH

publication date

  • April 2005