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Direct numerical simulation and large-eddy simulation of stationary buoyancy-driven turbulence

Chung, D. and Pullin, D. I. (2010) Direct numerical simulation and large-eddy simulation of stationary buoyancy-driven turbulence. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 643 . pp. 279-308. ISSN 0022-1120.

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We report direct numerical simulation (DNS) and large-eddy simulation (LES) of statistically stationary buoyancy-driven turbulent mixing of an active scalar. We use an adaptation of the fringe-region technique, which continually supplies the flow with unmixed fluids at two opposite faces of a triply periodic domain in the presence of gravity, effectively maintaining an unstably stratified, but statistically stationary flow. We also develop a new method to solve the governing equations, based on the Helmholtz–Hodge decomposition, that guarantees discrete mass conservation regardless of iteration errors. Whilst some statistics were found to be sensitive to the computational box size, we show, from inner-scaled planar spectra, that the small scales exhibit similarity independent of Reynolds number, density ratio and aspect ratio. We also perform LES of the present flow using the stretched-vortex subgridscale (SGS) model. The utility of an SGS scalar flux closure for passive scalars is demonstrated in the present active-scalar, stably stratified flow setting. The multi-scale character of the stretched-vortex SGS model is shown to enable extension of some second-order statistics to subgrid scales. Comparisons with DNS velocity spectra and velocity-density cospectra show that both the resolved-scale and SGS-extended components of the LES spectra accurately capture important features of the DNS spectra, including small-scale anisotropy and the shape of the viscous roll-off.

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Chung, D.0000-0003-3732-364X
Additional Information:© 2009 Cambridge University Press. Received 10 June 2009; revised 15 October 2009; accepted 16 October 2009; first published online 24 December 2009. The authors wish to thank Drs.W. H. Cabot and A.W. Cook for kindly providing their DNS spectra. This work is partially supported by the NSF under grant CBET 0651754.
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Subject Keywords:modelling, simulation, turbulent mixing
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100301-154739581
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:17623
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:10 Mar 2010 19:21
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 01:30

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