Separating large-scale superposition and modulation in turbulent channels

Andreolli A, Gatti D, Vinuesa R, Örlü R, Schlatter P (2023)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2023


Book Volume: 958

Article Number: A37

DOI: 10.1017/jfm.2023.103


The presence of very-large-scale motions in wall-bounded turbulent flows is commonly associated with their footprint in the form of the superposition of the large scales at the wall and the additional amplitude modulation of small-scale near-wall turbulence. These two phenomena are currently understood to be interlinked, with the superposed large-scale velocity gradient causing the modulation of small-scale activity in the proximity of the wall. To challenge this idea, we devise a numerical strategy that selectively suppresses either superposition or amplitude modulation, in an effort to isolate and study the remaining phenomenon. Results from our direct numerical simulations indicate that a positive correlation between the amplitude of the small scales in the near-wall region and the large-scale signal in the outer flow persists even when near-wall large-scale motions are suppressed -i.e. in absence of superposition. Clearly, this kind of correlation cannot be caused by the near-wall large-scale velocity or its gradients, as both are absent. Conversely, when modulation is blocked, the near-wall footprints of the large scales seem to disappear. This study has been carried out on channel flows at friction Reynolds number in both standard simulation domains and minimal streamwise units (MSUs), where the streamwise fluctuation energy is enhanced. The consistency of the results obtained by the two approaches suggests that MSUs can capture correctly this kind of scale interaction at a much reduced cost.

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Andreolli, A., Gatti, D., Vinuesa, R., Örlü, R., & Schlatter, P. (2023). Separating large-scale superposition and modulation in turbulent channels. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 958.


Andreolli, Andrea, et al. "Separating large-scale superposition and modulation in turbulent channels." Journal of Fluid Mechanics 958 (2023).

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