The modulation characteristics of the turbulent wall shear stress and longitudinal intensities in the inner layer are experimentally investigated in an unsteady channel flow wherein the centerline velocity varies in time in a sinusoidal manner. The fluctuating wall shear stress and velocity signals are temporally filtered and subsequently phase averaged. It is shown that the outer structures corresponding to the low spectrum range have a constant time lag with respect to the centerline velocity modulation. The inner active structures, in particular those with a frequency band containing the mean ejection frequency of the corresponding steady flow dominate the dynamics of the near-wall unsteady turbulence. The structures respond to the imposed shear oscillations in a complex way, depending both on their characteristic scales and the thickness of the oscillating shear zone in which they are embedded.

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