The flow around a cylinder, surface mounted or partly buried has been examined at Reynolds number of 1.3x10(4) and 2.6x10(4) by using the flow visualization method in the case of steady current. The lengths of the upstream and downstream separation regions were determined and the characteristics of the flow area were discussed for the cylinder having different burial depth to the diameter ratio (G/D). For comparsion, some numerical results obtained from the application of the FLUENT, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software package have also been presented. Both experimental and numerical results indicated that the lengths of the separation regions near the upstream and downstream of the cylinder decreased with the increasing burial ratio (G/D=0, 0.20, 0.50). The results have significant implications both for the illustration of the potential for using CFD software and highlighting the need for data of two dimensional flow around the buried cylinder. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.