Laminar-to-turbulent transition in the presence of Go¨rtler vortices has been investigated experimentally, in the outer wall boundary layer of a curved water channel. Ratios of boundary layer thickness at the start of curvature to wall radius were around 0.05 and core flow turbulence intensities were between 1 and 3 percent. Measurements of intermittency factor were made by hot film probe and of mean and rms velocity by laser anemometer. At Reynolds numbers low enough to allow considerable nonlinear vortex amplification in the laminar region, transition was found to begin sooner and progress faster at a vortex upwash position than at a spanwise-adjacent downwash position. Measured Go¨rtler numbers at transition onset bore little relationship to those often used as transition criteria in two-dimensional boundary layer prediction codes. Little spanwise variation in intermittency occurred at higher Reynolds numbers, where mean velocity profiles at upwash were much less inflected. Toward the end of curvature, favorable pressure gradients estimated to exceed the Launder relaminarization value corresponded with cases of incomplete transition.

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