Journal of Fluid Mechanics


Large-eddy simulation of large-scale structures in long channel flow

D. CHUNGa1 c1 and B. J. McKEONa1

a1 Graduate Aerospace Laboratories, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA


We investigate statistics of large-scale structures from large-eddy simulation (LES) of turbulent channel flow at friction Reynolds numbers Reτ = 2K and 200K (where K denotes 1000). In order to capture the behaviour of large-scale structures properly, the channel length is chosen to be 96 times the channel half-height. In agreement with experiments, these large-scale structures are found to give rise to an apparent amplitude modulation of the underlying small-scale fluctuations. This effect is explained in terms of the phase relationship between the large- and small-scale activity. The shape of the dominant large-scale structure is investigated by conditional averages based on the large-scale velocity, determined using a filter width equal to the channel half-height. The conditioned field demonstrates coherence on a scale of several times the filter width, and the small-scale–large-scale relative phase difference increases away from the wall, passing through π/2 in the overlap region of the mean velocity before approaching π further from the wall. We also found that, near the wall, the convection velocity of the large scales departs slightly, but unequivocally, from the mean velocity.

(Received November 22 2009)

(Revised May 27 2010)

(Accepted May 27 2010)

(Online publication August 23 2010)

Key words:

  • turbulent boundary layers;
  • turbulence simulation


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