Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 541004
Title Parameters for the collapse of turbulence in the stratified plane Couette flow
Author(s) Hooijdonk, Ivo G.S. van; Clercx, Herman J.H.; Ansorge, Cedrick; Moene, Arnold F.; Wiel, Bas J.H. van de
Source Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 75 (2018)9. - ISSN 0022-4928 - p. 3211 - 3231.
Department(s) Meteorology and Air Quality
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) Boundary conditions - Boundary layer - Numerical analysis/modeling - Turbulence

We perform direct numerical simulation of the Couette flow as a model for the stable boundary layer. The flow evolution is investigated for combinations of the (bulk) Reynolds number and the imposed surface buoyancy flux. First, we establish what the similarities and differences are between applying a fixed buoyancy difference (Dirichlet) and a fixed buoyancy flux (Neumann) as boundary conditions. Moreover, two distinct parameters were recently proposed for the turbulent-to-laminar transition: the Reynolds number based on the Obukhov length and the "shear capacity," a velocity-scale ratio based on the buoyancy flux maximum. We study how these parameters relate to each other and to the atmospheric boundary layer. The results show that in a weakly stratified equilibrium state, the flow statistics are virtually the same between the different types of boundary conditions. However, at stronger stratification and, more generally, in nonequilibrium conditions, the flow statistics do depend on the type of boundary condition imposed. In the case of Neumann boundary conditions, a clear sensitivity to the initial stratification strength is observed because of the existence of multiple equilibriums, while for Dirichlet boundary conditions, only one statistically steady turbulent equilibrium exists for a particular set of boundary conditions. As in previous studies, we find that when the imposed surface flux is larger than the maximum buoyancy flux, no turbulent steady state occurs. Analytical investigation and simulation data indicate that this maximum buoyancy flux converges for increasing Reynolds numbers, which suggests a possible extrapolation to the atmospheric case.

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