Numerical Study of Turbulent Channel Flow Perturbed by Spanwise Topographic Heterogeneity: Amplitude and Frequency Modulation Within Low- and High-Momentum Pathways



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American Physical Society


We have studied the effects of topographically driven secondary flows on inner-outer interaction in turbulent channel flow. Recent studies have revealed that large-scale motions in the logarithmic region impose an amplitude and frequency modulation on the dynamics of small-scale structures near the wall. This led to development of a predictive model for near-wall dynamics, which has practical relevance for large-eddy simulations. Existing work on amplitude modulation has focused on smooth-wall flows; however, Anderson [J. Fluid Mech. 789, 567 (2016)10.1017/jfm.2015.744] addressed the problem of rough-wall turbulent channel flow in which the correlation profiles for amplitude modulation showed trends similar to those reported by Mathis et al. [Phys. Fluids 21, 111703 (2009)10.1063/1.3267726]. For the present study, we considered flow over surfaces with a prominent spanwise heterogeneity, such that domain-scale turbulent secondary flows in the form of counter-rotating vortices are sustained within the flow. (We also show results for flow over a homogeneous roughness, which serves as a benchmark against the spanwise-perturbed cases.) The vortices are anchored to the topography such that prominent upwelling and downwelling occur above the low and high roughness, respectively. We have quantified the extent to which such secondary flows disrupt the distribution of spectral density across constituent wavelengths throughout the depth of the flow, which has direct implications for the existence of amplitude and frequency modulation. We find that the distinct outer peak associated with large-scale motions - the "modulators" - is preserved within the upwelling zone but vanishes in the downwelling zone. Within the downwelling zones, structures are steeper and shorter. Single- and two-point correlations for inner-outer amplitude and frequency modulation demonstrate insensitivity to resolution across cases. We also show a pronounced crossover between the single- and two-point correlations, a product of modulation quantification based upon Parseval's theorem (i.e., spectral density, but not the wavelength at which energy resides, defines the strength of modulation). © 2018 American Physical Society.



Amplitude modulation, Spectral energy distribution, Turbulence


©2018 American Physical Society