On modelling transitional turbulent flows using under-resolved direct numerical simulations: the case of plane Couette flow

Paul Manneville 1, * Joran Rolland 1, *
Abstract : Direct numerical simulations have proven of inestimable help to our understanding of the transition to turbulence in wall-bounded flows. While the dynamics of the transition from laminar flow to turbulence via localised spots can be investigated with reasonable computing resources in the domains of limited extent, the study of the decay of turbulence in conditions approaching those in the laboratory requires the consideration of domains so wide as to exclude the recourse to fully resolved simulations. Using Gibson's C++ code Channel-Flow, we scrutinise the effects of a controlled lowering of the numerical resolution on the decay of turbulence in-plane Couette flow at a quantitative level. We show that the number of Chebyshev polynomials describing the cross-stream dependence can be drastically decreased while preserving all the qualitative features of the solution. In particular, the oblique turbulent band regime experimentally observed in the upper part of the transitional range is extremely robust. In terms of Reynolds numbers, the resolution lowering is seen to yield a regular downward shift of the upper and lower thresholds R (t) and R (g) where the bands appear and break down. The study is illustrated with the results of two preliminary experiments.
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Paul Manneville, Joran Rolland. On modelling transitional turbulent flows using under-resolved direct numerical simulations: the case of plane Couette flow. Theoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics, Springer Verlag, 2011, 25 (6), pp.407-420. ⟨10.1007/s00162-010-0215-5⟩. ⟨hal-00997988⟩

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