Transitional boundary layers exist on surfaces and bodies operating in viscous fluids at speeds such that the critical Reynolds number based on the distance from the leading edge is exceeded. The transition region is composed of a simultaneous mixture of both laminar and turbulent regimes occurring randomly in space and time. The turbulent regimes are known as turbulent spots, they grow rapidly with downstream distance, and they ultimately coalesce to form the beginning of fully-developed turbulent boundary-layer flow. It has been long suspected that such a region of unsteadiness may give rise to local pressure fluctuations and radiated sound that are different from those created by the fully-developed turbulent boundary layer at equivalent Reynolds number. This article reviews the available literature on this subject. The emphasis of this literature is on natural and artificially created transitional boundary layers under mostly incompressible conditions; hence, the word hydroacoustics in the title. The topics covered include the dynamics and local wall pressure fluctuations due to the passage of turbulent spots created in a deterministic way, the pressure fluctuations under transitioning boundary layers where the formation and location of spots are random, and the acoustic radiation from transition and its pre-cursor, the Tollmien-Schlichting waves. The majority of this review is for zero-pressure gradient flat plate flows, but the limited literature on axisymmetric body and plate flows with pressure gradient is included.

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