Three-dimensional flow structure of a non-buoyant jet in a wave-current coexisting environment

Zhenshan Xu, Yongping Chen, Jianfeng Tao, Yi Pan, Derrick M.A. Sowa, Chi Wai Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The three-dimensional flow structure of a non-buoyant vertical round jet in a wave-current coexisting environment is investigated. Laboratory experiments are first conducted to measure instantaneous flow patterns and mean velocity fields of the jet in a wave-current coexisting environment and a current-only environment for comparison. The distinctive 'effluent clouds' phenomenon is clearly observed in the wave-current coexisting environment but scarcely observed in the current-only environment. Moreover, the mean velocity vectors bend further toward the bottom when the wave effect is present. To reveal a more detailed flow structure of the jet in the wave-current coexisting environment, a large eddy simulation (LES) model is developed and validated against the experimental data. The mechanisms of formation and development of 'effluent clouds' are unravelled based on in-depth analysis of the vorticity contours and the high-pass filtered flow fields on the vertical symmetrical plane. With the variation of instantaneous jet-to-current velocity ratio, the 'effluent clouds' dynamically interact with the current-induced counter-rotating vortex pair (CVP), resulting in an inverted pear-shaped distribution of mean flow field above the CVP structure centre. This study highlights that the existence of 'effluent clouds' can lead to a significant enhancement of jet spread and dilution in the wave-current coexisting environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-54
Number of pages13
JournalOcean Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Effluent clouds
  • Laboratory experiments
  • Large eddy simulation
  • Non-buoyant jet
  • Wave-current coexisting environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering


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