A particle image velocimetry is used to study the characteristics of separated and reattached turbulent flow over two-dimensional transverse blocks of square, rectangular and semi-circular cross-sections fixed to the bottom wall of an open channel. The ratio of upstream boundary layer thickness to block height is considerably higher than in prior studies. The results show that the mean and turbulent statistics in the recirculation region and downstream of reattachment are significantly different from the upstream boundary layer. The variation of the Reynolds stresses along the separating streamlines is discussed within the context of vortex stretching, longitudinal strain rate and wall damping. It appears wall damping is a more dominant mechanism in the vicinity of reattachment. The levels of turbulence diffusion and production by the normal stresses are significantly higher than in classical turbulent boundary layers. The bulk of turbulence production occurs in mid-layer and transported into the inner and outer layers. The results also reveal that the curvature of separating streamline, separating bubble beneath it as well as the mean velocity and turbulent quantities depend strongly on block geometry.

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