Lock-exchange flows in inclined pipes: the relevance of the Prandtl mixing length model

Yukie Tanino, Frederic Moisy, Jean-Pierre Hulin

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1 Citation (Scopus)


We examine the applicability of the Prandtl mixing length model to transverse momentum and mass flux in strongly confined, stably stratified turbulent shear flows. These fluxes were measured in the vertical diametral plane of lock-exchange flows in an inclined pipe by the simultaneous use of planar laser-induced fluorescence and particle image velocimetry at local Reynolds numbers ranging from Re = 580 to 1770 and Richardson numbers ranging from Ri = 0.26 and 1.6. Measurements indicate that the eddy diffusivities of mass and momentum are symmetric about the pipe axis, with their maximum at the axis. The corresponding Prandtl mixing lengths decrease with increasing distance from the pipe axis within the central 60% of the pipe cross-section. Within the range of experimental conditions, the mixing lengths at the axis increase linearly with Ri so that the corresponding turbulent Prandtl number Prt decreases with Ri. In contrast, Prt and the mixing lengths do not display a systematic dependence on Re. Comparison with unbounded and semi-bound shear flows suggests that the strong confinement imposed by the pipe wall may be constraining the integral length scale and Prandtl mixing lengths.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484-502
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Turbulence
Issue number5
Early online date3 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


  • Prandtl mixing length
  • stratified shear flow
  • eddy diffusivity


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