Recycling inflow method for simulations of spatially evolving turbulent boundary layers over rough surfaces

Xiang I.A. Yang, Charles Meneveau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The technique by Lund et al. to generate turbulent inflow for simulations of developing boundary layers over smooth flat plates is extended to the case of surfaces with roughness elements. In the Lund et al. method, turbulent velocities on a sampling plane are rescaled and recycled back to the inlet as inflow boundary condition. To rescale mean and fluctuating velocities, appropriate length scales need be identified and for smooth surfaces, the viscous scale lν=ν/uτ (where ν is the kinematic viscosity and uτ is the friction velocity) is employed for the inner layer. Different from smooth surfaces, in rough wall boundary layers the length scale of the inner layer, i.e. the roughness sub-layer scale ld, must be determined by the geometric details of the surface roughness elements and the flow around them. In the proposed approach, it is determined by diagnosing dispersive stresses that quantify the spatial inhomogeneity caused by the roughness elements in the flow. The scale ld is used for rescaling in the inner layer, and the boundary layer thickness δ is used in the outer region. Both parts are then combined for recycling using a blending function. Unlike the blending function proposed by Lund et al. which transitions from the inner layer to the outer layer at approximately 0.2δ, here the location of blending is shifted upwards to enable simulations of very rough surfaces in which the roughness length may exceed the height of 0.2δ assumed in the traditional method. The extended rescaling-recycling method is tested in large eddy simulation of flow over surfaces with various types of roughness element shapes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-93
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Turbulence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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