Journal of Fluid Mechanics


Comparison between experiments and direct numerical simulations in a channel flow with roughness on one wall


a1 Physique Statistique et des Plasmas, Université Libre de Bruxelles, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium

a2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez PR 00681-9045, Puerto Rico

a3 Dipartimento di Meccanica e Aeronautica, Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”, I-00184 Rome, Italy

a4 Discipline of Mechanical Engineering, University of Newcastle, NSW 2308, Australia


The turbulent flow in a two-dimensional channel with roughness on one wall is investigated using experiments and direct numerical simulations (DNS). The elements have a square cross-section with height k=0.1H (H is the channel half-width) and a streamwise spacing of 4k. The Reynolds number Reτr, based on the friction velocity at the rough wall and H, is in the range 300–1100. Particular attention is given to the rough-wall side. Measured turbulence intensities, length scales, leading terms in the turbulent kinetic energy budget, and velocity spectra are compared with those obtained from the DNS. Close agreement is found, yielding support for the simplifying assumptions in the experiment (notably local isotropy and Taylor's hypothesis) and the adequacy of the spatial resolution in the simulation. Overall, the profiles of the Reynolds normal stresses on the roughness side are almost independent of Reτr, when normalized by outer variables. Energy spectra at different locations above the rough wall collapse well at high wavenumbers, when normalized by Kolmogorov scales. In contrast to previous studies, a region of negative energy production near the location of the maximum streamwise velocity is not observed. Comparison with a smooth-wall channel, at similar values of the friction-velocity Reynolds number, highlights differences only in the streamwise velocity component near the wall.

(Received July 10 2007)

(Revised January 18 2008)