Measurements of the small-scale dissipation statistics of turbulent boundary layer flows with and without free-stream turbulence are reported for Reτ ≈ 1000 (Reθ ≈ 2000). The scaling of the dissipation scale distribution is examined in these two boundary conditions. Results demonstrated that the local large-scale Reynolds number based on the measured longitudinal integral length scale fails to properly normalize the dissipation scale distribution near the wall in these two free-stream conditions due to the imperfect characterization of the upper bound of the inertial cascade by the integral length scale. A surrogate found from turbulent kinetic energy and mean dissipation rate only moderately improved the scaling of the dissipation scales, relative to the measured integral length scale. When a length scale based on the distance from the wall [as suggested by Bailey and Witte, “On the universality of local dissipation scales in turbulent channel flow,” J. Fluid Mech. 786, 234–252 (2015)] was utilized to scale the dissipation scale distribution, in the region near the wall, there was a noticeable improvement in the collapse of the normalized distribution of dissipation scales. In addition, unlike in channel flows, in the outer layer of the turbulent boundary layer, the normalized distributions of the local dissipation scales were observed to be dependent on the wall-normal position. This was found to be attributable to the presence of external intermittency in the outer layer as the presence of free-stream turbulence was found to restore the scaling behavior by replacing the intermittent laminar flow with turbulent flow.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Physics of Fluids, v. 29, issue 11, 115103, p. 1-10.

This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and AIP Publishing.

The following article appeared in Physics of Fluids, v. 29, issue 11, 115103, p. 1-10 and may be found at https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4996200.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)