Onset of turbulence in channel flows with scale-invariant roughness

29 Jun 2020  ·  Linga Gaute, Angheluta Luiza, Mathiesen Joachim ·

Using 3D direct numerical simulations of the Navier--Stokes equations, we study the effect of wall roughness on the onset of turbulence in channel flow. The dependence of the friction factor on the Reynolds number, $\mathrm{Re}$, is found to follow a generalized Forchheimer law, which interpolates between the laminar and inertial asymptotes... The transition between these two asymptotes occurs at a first critical $\mathrm{Re}$, $\mathrm{Re}_{\mathrm{c}}$, that depends nontrivially on the roughness amplitude. We identify the transition from subcritical to supercritical onset by looking at the dependence of the velocity fluctuations on Re for different roughness amplitudes. We find that this second critical $\mathrm{Re}$ is comparable in magnitude to $\mathrm{Re}_{\mathrm{c}}$, implying that transitional flow is an integral part of flow in open fractures when $\mathrm{Re}$ and the roughness amplitude are sufficiently high. read more

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Fluid Dynamics Computational Physics