An experimental study is conducted to investigate the airside flow behavior within the crest-trough region over wind generated water waves. Two-dimensional velocity fields in a plane perpendicular to the surface were measured using particle image velocimetry (PIV). The experiments were conducted in a wind wave flume 0.45 m wide, 0.9 m high and 3 m long. The measurements were made at a fetch of 2.1 m and at the wind speeds of 3.7 and 4.4 m s−1. An algorithm was developed to segregate separated and non-separated velocity fields within the measured dataset. The results show lower magnitudes of the streamwise velocity and higher magnitudes of Reynolds stress and turbulent kinetic energy for the separated flow fields than that for the non-separated flow fields, indicating that the flow separation significantly enhances turbulence in the near surface region. The enhanced Reynolds stress is positive which indicates that the flow separation increases downward momentum transfer from wind to the wave. The two dimensional plot of instantaneous velocity showed that the separation vortices are restricted to the region bounded by the wave crest and trough. The presented results demonstrate that the flow separation plays a significant role in the interfacial transport processes and therefore, it can be concluded that the understanding of the airflow field within the crest-trough region is vital to improve our knowledge about the air-water heat, mass and momentum exchange.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.