Vortex Shedding

Vortex street animation.

Whenever a bluff (i.e. non-aerodynamic) body is placed in a flow of sufficient Reynolds number, it will shed periodic vortices, creating a pattern known as a von Karman vortex street. The animation above shows the phenomenon in the wake of a cylinder, but vortex streets form behind many other bodies as well, including islands. Each vortex shed causes forces on the body and alternating vortices can cause the body to vibrate. This is what causes suspended power lines to “sing” in the wind. #

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