Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. James Fox


The large scale and smaller production scale motions contain over the half of turbulent kinetic energy in the flow. These motions are responsible for sediment transport and deposition processes, contaminant mixing and stream bio-diversity. These motions are corresponded to the left and right bounds of -1 power region of the spectral energy. The most well recognized and highly studied power law has been upon Kolmogorov’s -5/3 power law region of the streamwise spectral energy density and this research focused on investigating the -1 power region bounds and energy. Energy budget and time-average turbulence calculations along with spectral analysis are performed to investigate the characteristics of large scale and smaller production scale motions in the flow. Spectral analyses of turbulent flows offers the utility of investigating the distribution of turbulent energy across wavenumber scales as well as identifying prominent wavenumbers at which the periodicity of coherent processes are centered. In turn, the results of spectral analyses can be coupled with visualization of coherent vortices and time-average turbulence results to advance our understanding of turbulent energy distribution and dominant processes that drive environmental phenomena such as sediment transport and solute transfer. A new method for identifying the wavenumbers associated to the macroturbulence and bursting is introduced. Also this study offers a new scaling method of energy spectral that derived from the turbulence energy model for an equilibrium boundary layer. Results of this study show an equilibrium boundary layer for the outer region of the flow in which the flow is uniform and fully-developed. Also for a given roughness, the results of this study provide an approach to calculate the streamwise turbulence kinetic energy of bursting and macroturbulence which show a linkage of this work to applications such as bedload and suspended load sediment transport.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)