Turbulence of a free surface

R. Savelsberg, W. Water, van de

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
195 Downloads (Pure)


We study the free surface of a turbulent channel flow, in particular, the relation between the statistical properties of the wrinkled surface and those of the velocity field beneath it. For an irregular flow shed off a vertical cylinder, surface indentations are strongly correlated with vortices in the subsurface flow. For fully developed turbulence this correlation is dramatically reduced. This is because the large eddies excite random capillary-gravity waves that travel in all directions across the surface. Both their predominant wavelength and their anisotropy are determined by the subsurface turbulence.
Original languageEnglish
Article number034501
Pages (from-to)034501-1/4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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