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Publication# Effect of roughness on surface boundary conditions for large-eddy simulation

Abstract

An important parameterization in large-eddy simulations (LESs) of high-Reynolds-number boundary layers, such as the atmospheric boundary layer, is the specification of the surface boundary condition. Typical boundary conditions compute the fluctuating surface shear stress as a function of the resolved (filtered) velocity at the lowest grid points based on similarity theory. However, these approaches are questionable because they use instantaneous (filtered) variables, while similarity theory is only valid for mean quantities. Three of these formulations are implemented in simulations of a neutral atmospheric boundary layer with different aerodynamic surface roughness. Our results show unrealistic influence of surface roughness on the mean profile, variance and spectra of the resolved velocity near the ground, in contradiction of similarity theory. In addition to similarity-based surface boundary conditions, a recent model developed from an a priori experimental study is tested and it is shown to yield more realistic independence of the results to changes in surface roughness. The optimum value of the model parameter found in our simulations matches well the value reported in the a priori wind-tunnel study.

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Boundary layer

In physics and fluid mechanics, a boundary layer is the thin layer of fluid in the immediate vicinity of a bounding surface formed by the fluid flowing along the surface. The fluid's interaction with the wall induces a no-slip boundary condition (zero velocity at the wall). The flow velocity then monotonically increases above the surface until it returns to the bulk flow velocity. The thin layer consisting of fluid whose velocity has not yet returned to the bulk flow velocity is called the velocity boundary layer.

Large eddy simulation

Large eddy simulation (LES) is a mathematical model for turbulence used in computational fluid dynamics. It was initially proposed in 1963 by Joseph Smagorinsky to simulate atmospheric air currents, and first explored by Deardorff (1970). LES is currently applied in a wide variety of engineering applications, including combustion, acoustics, and simulations of the atmospheric boundary layer. The simulation of turbulent flows by numerically solving the Navier–Stokes equations requires resolving a very wide range of time and length scales, all of which affect the flow field.

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In the mathematical study of differential equations, the Dirichlet (or first-type) boundary condition is a type of boundary condition, named after Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet (1805–1859). When imposed on an ordinary or a partial differential equation, it specifies the values that a solution needs to take along the boundary of the domain. In finite element method (FEM) analysis, essential or Dirichlet boundary condition is defined by weighted-integral form of a differential equation.

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