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On filtering in the viscous-convective subrange for turbulent mixing of high Schmidt number passive scalars

American Institute of Physics
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  • Mathematics


In the present work, we investigate the possibility of performing velocity-resolved, scalar-filtered (VR-SF) numerical simulations of turbulent mixing of high Schmidt number scalars, by using a Large Eddy Simulation (LES)-type filter in the viscous-convective subrange. The only requirement for this technique is the large scale separation between the Kolmogorov and Batchelor length scales, which is a direct outcome of the high Schmidt number of the scalar. The present a priori analysis using high fidelity direct numerical simulation data leads to two main observations. First, the missing triadic interactions between (resolved) velocity and (filtered-out) scalar modes in the viscous-convective subrange do not affect directly the large scales. Second, the magnitude of the subgrid term is shown to be extremely small, which makes it particularly susceptible to numerical errors associated with the scalar transport scheme. A posteriori tests indicate that upwinded schemes, generally used for LES in complicated geometries, are sufficiently dissipative to overwhelm any contribution from the subgrid term. This renders the subgrid term superfluous, and as a result, VR-SF simulations run without subgrid scalar flux models are able to preserve large scale transport characteristics with remarkable accuracy.

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