Coherent structures in wall turbulence transport momentum and provide a means of producing turbulent kinetic energy. Above the viscous wall layer, the hairpin vortex paradigm of Theodorsen coupled with the quasistreamwise vortex paradigm have gained considerable support from multidimensional visualization using particle image velocimetry and direct numerical simulation experiments. Hairpins can autogenerate to form packets that populate a significant fraction of the boundary layer, even at very high Reynolds numbers. The dynamics of packet formation and the ramifications of organization of coherent structures (hairpins or packets) into larger-scale structures are discussed. Evidence for a large-scale mechanism in the outer layer suggests that further organization of packets may occur on scales equal to and larger than the boundary layer thickness. (c) 2007 American Inst Phys.
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