Flowing Water, Turbulent and Laminar Flows

Alexander N. Sukhodolov, Oleksandra O. Shumilova, Bruce L. Rhoads

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter reviews laminar and turbulent flows in the context of flowing waters. It starts with the examinations of balances of forces and introduces the concept of Reynolds averaging for turbulent flows. These are followed by outlines of the basic methods of modeling, which are based on the Boussinesq hypothesis and different assumptions about turbulent viscosity. Turbulence modeling for flowing waters is illustrated by examining generic turbulent flows: boundary layer, mixing layer, jet and wake. Predictions of turbulence modeling are compared to the results of field-based experiments completed on natural rivers. Although the turbulent flows in flowing waters are always considered difficult to understand and predict, the knowledge of these flows has greatly advanced during past decades and can be used for coupling abiotic and biotic factors in complex ecological models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Inland Waters, Second Edition
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780128220412
ISBN (Print)9780128191668
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Boundary layer
  • Laminar flow
  • Mixing layer
  • Shallow flow
  • Shear stress
  • Turbulent flow
  • Turbulent viscosity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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