A Caltech Library Service

Velocity Resolved - Scalar Modeled Simulations of High Schmidt Number Turbulent Transport


Verma, Siddhartha (2014) Velocity Resolved - Scalar Modeled Simulations of High Schmidt Number Turbulent Transport. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/PTD9-W004.


The objective of this thesis is to develop a framework to conduct velocity resolved - scalar modeled (VR-SM) simulations, which will enable accurate simulations at higher Reynolds and Schmidt (Sc) numbers than are currently feasible. The framework established will serve as a first step to enable future simulation studies for practical applications. To achieve this goal, in-depth analyses of the physical, numerical, and modeling aspects related to Sc>>1 are presented, specifically when modeling in the viscous-convective subrange. Transport characteristics are scrutinized by examining scalar-velocity Fourier mode interactions in Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) datasets and suggest that scalar modes in the viscous-convective subrange do not directly affect large-scale transport for high Sc. Further observations confirm that discretization errors inherent in numerical schemes can be sufficiently large to wipe out any meaningful contribution from subfilter models. This provides strong incentive to develop more effective numerical schemes to support high Sc simulations. To lower numerical dissipation while maintaining physically and mathematically appropriate scalar bounds during the convection step, a novel method of enforcing bounds is formulated, specifically for use with cubic Hermite polynomials. Boundedness of the scalar being transported is effected by applying derivative limiting techniques, and physically plausible single sub-cell extrema are allowed to exist to help minimize numerical dissipation. The proposed bounding algorithm results in significant performance gain in DNS of turbulent mixing layers and of homogeneous isotropic turbulence. Next, the combined physical/mathematical behavior of the subfilter scalar-flux vector is analyzed in homogeneous isotropic turbulence, by examining vector orientation in the strain-rate eigenframe. The results indicate no discernible dependence on the modeled scalar field, and lead to the identification of the tensor-diffusivity model as a good representation of the subfilter flux. Velocity resolved - scalar modeled simulations of homogeneous isotropic turbulence are conducted to confirm the behavior theorized in these a priori analyses, and suggest that the tensor-diffusivity model is ideal for use in the viscous-convective subrange. Simulations of a turbulent mixing layer are also discussed, with the partial objective of analyzing Schmidt number dependence of a variety of scalar statistics. Large-scale statistics are confirmed to be relatively independent of the Schmidt number for Sc>>1, which is explained by the dominance of subfilter dissipation over resolved molecular dissipation in the simulations. Overall, the VR-SM framework presented is quite effective in predicting large-scale transport characteristics of high Schmidt number scalars, however, it is determined that prediction of subfilter quantities would entail additional modeling intended specifically for this purpose. The VR-SM simulations presented in this thesis provide us with the opportunity to overlap with experimental studies, while at the same time creating an assortment of baseline datasets for future validation of LES models, thereby satisfying the objectives outlined for this work.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Turbulence, modeling, mixing, numerical methods, semi-Lagrangian, subgrid, subfilter, scalar transport, cubic Hermite, monotone, oscillationless, mixing layer, homogeneous turbulence, Schmidt number
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Blanquart, Guillaume
Thesis Committee:
  • Pullin, Dale Ian (chair)
  • Colonius, Tim
  • McKeon, Beverley J.
  • Blanquart, Guillaume
Defense Date:22 May 2014
Non-Caltech Author Email:verma_siddhu (AT)
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:06042014-163735743
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription work for Chapter 2 work for Chapter 3
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8481
Deposited By: Siddhartha Verma
Deposited On:09 Jun 2014 18:20
Last Modified:25 Oct 2023 21:14

Thesis Files

PDF - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page