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Lagrangian Statistics of Droplet Velocity and Acceleration in Isotropic Turbulence

[+] Author Affiliations
Balaji Gopalan, Edwin Malkiel, Joseph Katz

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Paper No. FEDSM2009-78537, pp. 413-418; 6 pages
  • ASME 2009 Fluids Engineering Division Summer Meeting
  • Volume 2: Fora
  • Vail, Colorado, USA, August 2–6, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4373-4 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3855-6
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


The addition of dispersants, water and oil soluble surfactants that lower the interfacial tension of the crude oil, along with oceanic turbulence can breakdown oil spills into droplets. Knowledge of the dispersion rate of these droplets by oceanic turbulence is essential for the development of better models to assess the environmental impact of spills. The objective of this research is to study, experimentally, the dispersion of oil droplets in turbulent flows. The measurements are performed in a specialized laboratory facility that enables generation of carefully controlled, isotropic, homogeneous turbulence at a wide range of fully characterized intensities and length scales. The oil dispersion is visualized using high-speed inline digital holographic cinematography. Holographic data has been analyzed and Lagrangian statistics of droplet velocity, dispersion and acceleration has been calculated. As the relative size of the droplet diameter to the Kolmogorov length scale and its Stokes number increases, the acceleration autocorrelation shifts from dropping to zero faster than the fluid particles to slower.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME
Topics: Turbulence



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