Direct numerical simulation of open-channel flow over smooth-to-rough and rough-to-smooth step changes

Rouhi, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-7837-418X, Chung, D. and Hutchins, N., 2019. Direct numerical simulation of open-channel flow over smooth-to-rough and rough-to-smooth step changes. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 866, pp. 450-486. ISSN 0022-1120

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Direct numerical simulations (DNS) are reported for open-channel flow over streamwise-alternating patches of smooth and fully rough walls. The rough patch is a three-dimensional sinusoidal surface. Owing to the streamwise periodicity, the flow configuration consists of a step change from smooth to rough, and a step change from rough to smooth. The friction Reynolds number varies from 437 over the smooth patch to 704 over the rough patch. Through the fully resolved DNS dataset it is possible to explore many detailed aspects of this flow. Two aspects motivate this work. The first one is the equilibrium assumption that has been widely used in both experiments and computations. However, it is not clear where this assumption is valid. The detailed DNS data reveal a significant departure from equilibrium, in particular over the smooth patch. Over this patch, the mean velocity is recovered up to the beginning of the log layer after a fetch of five times the channel height. However, over the rough patch, the same recovery level is reached after a fetch of two times the channel height. This conclusion is arrived at by assuming that an error of up to 5 % is acceptable and the log layer, classically, starts from 30 wall units above the wall. The second aspect is the reported internal boundary-layer (IBL) growth rates in the literature, which are inconsistent with each other. This is conjectured to be partly caused by the diverse IBL definitions. Five common definitions are applied for the same DNS dataset. The resulting IBL thicknesses are different by 100 %, and their apparent power-law exponents are different by 50 %. The IBL concept, as a layer within which the flow feels the surface underneath, is taken as the basis to search for the proper definition. The definition based on the logarithmic slope of the velocity profile, as proposed by Elliot (Trans. Am. Geophys. Union, vol. 39, 1958, pp. 1048–1054), yields better consistency with this concept based on turbulence characteristics.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Creators: Rouhi, A., Chung, D. and Hutchins, N.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Date: 10 May 2019
Volume: 866
ISSN: 0022-1120
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 02 Nov 2020 12:12
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:14

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