An empirical model for velocity in rough turbulent oscillatory boundary layers

Danny Dunbar, Dominic Van der A* (Corresponding Author), Tom O'Donoghue, Pietro Scandura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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A novel empirical model for the streamwise velocity in oscillatory boundary layer flow, valid in the rough turbulent regime, is presented. The model consists of simple expressions that require only the free-stream velocity time-series and equivalent sand-grain roughness length of the bed to be known a priori. A frequency-independent attenuation and phase lead is assumed for all flow harmonics, expressions for which are extracted from data from previous experimental studies made in 3 different oscillatory flow tunnels. Only the oscillating component of the flow is considered in the model; steady streaming is neglected. Errors in kinematics predicted by the model are typically two orders of magnitude smaller than the maximum oscillatory velocity in the free-stream. Hence, it is well-suited
to engineering application due to its simplicity and accuracy
Original languageEnglish
Article number104242
JournalCoastal Engineering
Early online date17 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

This work was conducted as part of the first author’s PhD, funded by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, and is also included in Dunbar (2022). The
authors are grateful to Dr. Jing Yuan (Tsinghua University) for providing the experimental data from Yuan and Madsen (2014).

Data Availability Statement

Data will be made available on request.


  • oscillatory flow
  • boundary layers
  • rough turbulent flow
  • empirical model


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