Separated and reattached turbulent flows induced by two-dimensional forward-backward-facing steps with different streamwise lengths submerged in a thick turbulent boundary layer are investigated using a time-resolved particle image velocimetry. The examined aspect ratios of the step range from 1 to 8, and the Reynolds number based on the free-stream velocity and step height is 13 200. The thickness of the oncoming turbulent boundary layer is 6.5 times the step height. The effects of varying aspect ratio of the steps on the mean flow, Reynolds stresses, triple correlations and unsteadiness of turbulent separation bubbles are studied. It was found that the mean flow reattaches over the step for forward-backward facing steps with aspect ratios of 2 and higher. The temporal variation of the first proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) mode and reverse flow area, which is used to examine the flapping motion of separation bubble, shows remarkable synchronization.

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