The interaction of vortical flow with a cylindrical structure is encountered in a variety of engineering applications. Determination of the affected flow structure in terms of its kinematics and related properties is important for the study of fluid-body interaction problems. In this study, the PIV technique is used to measure the velocity field of two-dimensional turbulent flow around a partially buried circular cylinder on a smooth plane boundary. Experiments are conducted in a closed-loop water channel for flow conditions with Reynolds numbers based on the cylinder diameter. Re-D = 1000, 3000, 5000 and 7000. Instantaneous and time-averaged patterns of velocity vectors, corresponding streamline topology, vorticity contours and distributions of turbulence statistical quantities are presented for the burial ratios, B/D = 0.25 and B/D = 0.50 to provide a detailed evaluation of the vortical flow characteristics. Moreover, the effect of burial ratio on the wall boundary-layer separation upstream and downstream of the circular cylinder and, the positions of the separation points on the cylinder surface are investigated. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.