Direct numerical simulation of scalar transport in turbulent flows over progressive surface waves

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Journal of Fluid Mechanics, ISSN: 0022-1120, Vol: 819, Issue: C5, Page: 58-103

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Di Yang; Lian Shen
Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Physics and Astronomy; Engineering
article description
The transport of passive scalars in turbulent flows over progressive water waves is studied using direct numerical simulation. A combined pseudo-spectral and finite-difference scheme on a wave-surface-fitted grid is used to simulate the flow and scalar fields above the wave surface. Three representative wave ages (i.e. wave-to-wind speed ratios) are considered, corresponding to slow, intermediate and fast wind-waves, respectively. For each wave condition, four Schmidt numbers are considered for the scalar transport. The presence of progressive surface waves is found to induce significant wave-phase-correlated variation to the scalar field, with the phase dependence varying with the wave age. The time- and plane-averaged profiles of the scalar over waves of various ages exhibit similar vertical structures as those found in turbulence over a flat wall, but with the von Kármán constant and effective wave surface roughness for the mean scalar profile exhibiting considerable variation with the wave age. The profiles of the root-mean-square scalar fluctuations and the horizontal scalar flux exhibit good scaling in the viscous sublayer that agrees with the scaling laws previously reported for flat-wall turbulence, but with noticeable wave-induced variation in the viscous wall region. The profiles of the vertical scalar flux in the viscous sublayer exhibit apparent discrepancies from the reported scaling law for flat-wall turbulence, due to a negative vertical flux region above the windward face of the wave crest. Direct observation and quadrant-based conditional averages indicate that the wave-dependent distributions of the scalar fluctuations and fluxes are highly correlated with the coherent vortical structures in the turbulence, which exhibit clear wave-dependent characteristics in terms of both shape and preferential location.