Observations of Turbulence in a Strong Tidal Flow

Ian Milne, R.N. Sharma, R.G.J. Flay

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review


Compared to the atmospheric boundary layer, there exists a lack of observations of turbulence in strong tidal flows. Such data are of increasing interest for charactering the dynamic loads on tidal turbines and validating numerical models. To this end, we report on a set of turbulence measurements acquired at the Sound of Islay in Scotland. The measurement location corresponds approximately to the site of a proposed tidal turbine deployment. The tidal channel is relatively deep at around 60 m, has sedate surface waves and the mean tidal flow exceeds 2.5 ms−1. An experiment set-up comprising an ADCP and ADV deployed on the seabed was utilised to measure statistics such as the turbulence intensities, Reynolds stresses and spectra over the tidal cycle. These measurements were used to inform the turbulence structure and dominant length-scales in the water column. The properties were found to be generally consistent with empirical correlations devised for steady open-channel flows in the laboratory and other field measurements reported on in the literature. It is envisaged that these results will aid designers of tidal turbines in reducing the uncertainties associated with the hydrodynamic loading on tidal turbines.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference
EditorsGreg Ivey, Nicole Jones, Tongming Zhou
PublisherAustralasian Fluid Mechanics Society
ISBN (Print)978-1-74052-377-6
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventAustralasian Fluid Mechanics Conference - , Australia
Duration: 1 Jan 2011 → …


ConferenceAustralasian Fluid Mechanics Conference
Period1/01/11 → …


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