Flow Field Around Single and Tandem Piers

Behzad Ataie-Ashtiani, Abolfazl Aslani-Kordkandi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


The present study provides a comparison between the flow pattern around two circular piers in tandem and a single pier set up on a moderately rough flat bed in a laboratory flume. Velocities are measured by an Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter (ADV). The contours of the time-averaged velocity components, Reynolds shear stresses, turbulence intensities and turbulence kinetic energy at different planes are presented. Streamlines and vectors are used to study the flow features. The analysis of power spectra around the piers is also presented. The results show that the presence of downstream pier changes the flow structure to a great extent, particularly in the near-wake region. Within the gap between the two piers, a stronger and substantial upflow is shaped. However, a weaker transverse-deflection is formed in comparison with that in the single pier. Near the bed, the velocity of flow approaching the downstream pier decreases to 0.2-0.3 times of the approach mean velocity (U 0) due to the sheltering effect of the upstream pier. In the wake of downstream pier, the flow structure is completely different from the one in the wake of single pier. In comparison with the single pier, the values of turbulence kinetic energy and turbulence intensities show a considerable decrease around the tandem piers. In tandem piers, the high values of turbulence characteristics are found near the downstream pier. There is a recirculation zones just upstream of the sheltered pier close to the bed and another behind that pier near the free surface. The results show a decrease in the strength of vortical structure in the wake of tandem piers in comparison with single pier. It is shown that the formation of flow with different Reynolds number along the flow depth due to the effect of bed roughness, as well as pier spacing, can influence the type of flow regime of tandem case. In addition to enhancing the flow structure indulgence, the present detailed measurements can also be used for verification of numerical models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-490
Number of pages20
JournalFlow, Turbulence and Combustion
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Flow pattern
  • Single pier
  • Tandem piers
  • Turbulence
  • Vortex shedding


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