A free-surface shear layer was studied to ascertain the effects due to the presence of surface tension gradients on the directional shift of the shear layer and turbulence intensities in the vicinity of the water free-surface. It was found that the presence of surfactants altered the direction of the shear layer in the vicinity of the free surface, with the shear layer being pulled to the higher surface tension side. In addition, the turbulence intensity in the plane of the free surface was dramatically reduced, also leading to damped surface deformations. These results show conclusively that the role surfactants play in turbulent free-surface shear flows needs to be considered.

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