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Published September 1, 2019 | Accepted Version
Journal Article Open

Error scaling of large-eddy simulation in the outer region of wall-bounded turbulence


We study the error scaling properties of large-eddy simulation (LES) in the outer region of wall-bounded turbulence at moderately high Reynolds numbers. In order to avoid the additional complexity of wall-modeling, we perform LES of turbulent channel flows in which the no-slip condition at the wall is replaced by a Neumann condition supplying the exact mean wall-stress. The statistics investigated are the mean velocity profile, turbulence intensities, and kinetic energy spectra. The errors follow (Δ/L)^αRe_τ^γ, where Δ is the characteristic grid resolution, Reτ is the friction Reynolds number, and L is the meaningful length-scale to normalize Δ in order to collapse the errors across the wall-normal distance. We show that Δ can be expressed as the L_2-norm of the grid vector and that L is well represented by the ratio of the friction velocity and mean shear. The exponent α is estimated from theoretical arguments for each statistical quantity of interest and shown to roughly match the values computed by numerical simulations. For the mean profile and kinetic energy spectra, α ≈ 1, whereas the turbulence intensities converge at a slower rate α < 1. The exponent γ is approximately 0, i.e. the LES solution is independent of the Reynolds number. The expected behavior of the turbulence intensities at high Reynolds numbers is also derived and shown to agree with the classic log-layer profiles for grid resolutions lying within the inertial range. Further examination of the LES turbulence intensities and spectra reveals that both quantities resemble their filtered counterparts from direct numerical simulation (DNS) data, but that the mechanism responsible for this similarity is related to the balance between the input power and dissipation rather than to filtering.

Additional Information

© 2019 Elsevier. Received 5 June 2018, Revised 4 April 2019, Accepted 26 April 2019, Available online 6 May 2019. This work was supported by NASA under the Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program, grant no. NNX15AU93A. The authors would like to thank Prof. Parviz Moin, Dr. Sanjeeb T. Bose, Dr. Perry Johnson, and Dr. Maxime Bassenne for their insightful comments.

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