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Fish swimming kinematics in a turbulent wake: to spill or not to spill?

Muhawenimana, Valentine ORCID:, Wilson, Catherine A. M. E. ORCID: and Cable, Jo ORCID: 2018. Fish swimming kinematics in a turbulent wake: to spill or not to spill? E3S Web of Conferences 40 , 03024. 10.1051/e3sconf/20184003024

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Due to the complex nature of fish-environment interactions, the effects of altered flow conditions on fish habitats and behaviour, particularly near obstructions, are not yet fully understood. Many hydro-engineering structures generate three-dimensional turbulent structures that differ in properties from naturally occurring ones, and are challenging to fish movement. Here, swimming stability and habitat usage of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) were examined in the turbulent wake of a horizontally oriented cylinder (50 mm diameter, D) for a series of increasing cylinder Reynolds numbers (Red). Velocity statistics showed that the near wake downstream of the cylinder within a 2D distance had higher magnitudes of longitudinal, vertical and lateral velocity components as well as Reynolds stresses, turbulence intensity and turbulent kinetic energy than the remaining wake flow field. Flow accelerating over the cylinder top and underside generated two shear horizontal layers, where two coherent structures were formed due to the shear layer breakdown off the cylinder’s walls and alternating von Karman-type vortex shedding occurred in the wake of the cylinder. The eddy symmetry and vorticity off the cylinder’s edges was dependent on Red. The recorded total number of spills, defined as loss of balance, was inversely proportional to fish length and weight, and depended on proximity to the cylinder and the flume bed. Furthermore, the frequency of spills was closely linked to the orientation of vortices and magnitude of Reynolds stresses, suggesting that these parameters may govern the swimming stability of fishes. This information may be used to inform the design of fish-friendly obstacles including hydraulic structures and hydro turbines in riverine and estuarine systems.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Additional Information: Presented at - River Flow 2018 - Ninth International Conference on Fluvial Hydraulics - Lyon-Villeurbanne, France, 5-8 Sep, 2018
Publisher: EDP Sciences
ISSN: 2267-1242
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 October 2018
Date of Acceptance: 25 April 2018
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2023 17:26

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