Surface wave effects on energy transfer in overlying turbulent flow

Li Hao Wang, Wu Yang Zhang, Xuanting Hao, Wei Xi Huang, Lian Shen, Chun Xiao Xu, Zhaoshun Zhang

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Phase-resolved wave simulation and direct numerical simulation of turbulence are performed to investigate the surface wave effects on the energy transfer in overlying turbulent flow. The JONSWAP spectrum is used to initialize a broadband wave field. The nonlinear wave field is simulated using a high-order spectral method, and the resultant wave surface provides the bottom boundary conditions for direct numerical simulation of the overlying turbulent flow. Two wave ages of and 25 are considered, corresponding to slow and fast wave fields, respectively, where denotes the celerity of the peak wave and denotes the friction velocity. The energy transfer of turbulent motions in the presence of surface waves is investigated through the spectral analysis of the two-point correlation transport equation. It is found that the production term has an extra peak at the dominant wavelength scale in the vicinity of the surface, and the energy transported to the surface via viscous and spatial turbulent transport is enhanced in the region of <![CDATA[$y^{+}. The presence of surface waves results in an inverse turbulent energy cascade in the near-surface region, where small-scale wave-related motions transfer energy back to the dominant wavelength scale. Pressure-related terms reflecting the spatial and inter-component energy transfer are strongly dependent on the wave age. Furthermore, triadic interaction analysis reveals that the energy influx at the dominant wavelength scale is due to the contribution of the neighbouring streamwise turbulent motions, and those at the harmonic wavelength scales contribute the most.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA21
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
L.-H.W., W.-Y.Z., W.-X.H., C.-X.X. and Z.Z. acknowledge the support of the National Natural Science Foundation of China under grants nos. 11772172, 91752205 and 11490551 and the parallel computing resources provided by Tsinghua National Laboratory for Information Science and Technology. X.H. and L.S. gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation and Minnesota Sea Grant. The authors also thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press.


  • turbulence simulation
  • turbulent boundary layers
  • wind-wave interactions


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