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When the driving pressure gradient is neither steady nor homogeneous: Baroclinicity and unsteadiness in wall bounded flows

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TURW04 - Wall-bounded turbulence: beyond current boundaries

The overwhelming majority of studies of wall bounded turbulence examines steady and barotropic flows; that is the pressure gradient driving the flow is (quasi) steady and does not vary with distance from the wall. These conditions are the rare exception in many real-world flows, particularly in geophysical settings. In this talk, we focus on flows outside of this canonical framework using large-eddy simulations of wall-bounded flow with time-varying (unsteady) or height-varying (baroclinic) pressure forcings. For the unsteady ABL , turbulence is found to be highly out of equilibrium with the mean flow when the forcing time scale ~ turbulence time scale, suggesting a need for turbulence models with memory in such flows. For the baroclinic simulations, the mean flow can also be well approximated using novel analytical solutions. However, the resulting mean and turbulence profiles are strongly influenced by the strength and the direction of the baroclinicity, and can have vast deviations from the canonical log laws observed under barotropic conditions.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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