On the generation and maintenance of waves and turbulence in simulations of free-surface turbulence

Xin Guo, Lian Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


One of the challenges in numerical simulation of wave-turbulence interaction is the precise setup and maintenance of wave and turbulence fields. In this paper, we investigate techniques for the generation and suppression of specific surface wave modes, the generation of turbulence in an inhomogeneous physical domain with a wavy boundary-fitted grid, and the generation and maintenance of waves and turbulence during the complex wave-turbulence interaction process. We apply surface pressure to generate and suppress waves. Based on the solution of linearized Cauchy-Poisson problem, we derive three pressure expressions, which lead to a δ-function method, a time-segment method, and a gradual method. Numerical experiments show that these methods generate waves as specified and eliminate spurious waves effectively. The nonlinear wave effect is accounted for with a time-relaxation method. For turbulence generation, we extend the linear forcing method to an inhomogeneous physical domain with a curvilinear computational grid. Effects of force distribution and computational grid distortion are examined. For wave-turbulence interaction, we develop an algorithm to instantaneously identify specific progressive and standing waves. To precisely control the wave amplitude in a complex turbulent flow field, we further develop an energy controlling method. Finally, a simulation example of wave-turbulence interaction is presented. Results show that turbulence has unique features in the presence of waves. Velocity fluctuations are found to be strongly dependent on the wave phase; variations of these fluctuations are explained by the pressure-strain correlation associated with the wave-induced strain field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7313-7332
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 20 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported by Office of Naval Research.


  • Free-surface flow
  • Turbulence
  • Wave


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