Direct numerical simulations of wave-current interactions over bumpy walls

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Turbulence in estuarine bottom boundary layers influences a variety of biological and anthropogenic activities by driving the hydrodynamics and morphodynamic response of large-scale coastal ocean systems. Thus, a detailed understanding of these boundary layers enables accurate, long-term prediction of the fate of nutrients, pollutants, sediments, and other relevant quantities within estuarine environments. Typically, estuaries are driven by the mean turbulent currents and oscillatory wave motion that interact over naturally rough bottom boundaries. These wave-current interactions often occur non-linearly resulting in complex mean flow responses across the water column. A direct forcing immersed boundary method was implemented in a second-order accurate, staggered finite-difference code enabling the modeling of rough-wall channel flows. Through the definition of the Corey shape factor (Co), the effect of roughness shape characterisation on the mean flow drag was validated to show that the mean flow drag increases with decreasing Co. Using a wide range of full- and minimal-span channel flow simulations with varying Co and friction Reynolds number (Re∗), direct solutions of the governing equations were used to provide insights into the mean flow drag increase. Having established a consistent way to estimate the mean flow drag as a function of the Corey shape factor, the dynamics of current-dominated, wave-current boundary layers over hydraulically smooth walls was studied using direct numerical simulations.For the flat wall, wave-current boundary layer, the mean flow drag did not exhibit any substantial change when compared to the canonical flat wall channel flow. However, the bumpy wall, wave-current boundary layer showed elevated mean flow drag when compared to the canonical flat and bumpy wall channels. Using a turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) and Reynolds stress budget analysis, it was found that there was a decrease in the net TKE production to dissipation rate ratio as a result of the increased TKE dissipation rate. It was also observed that the pressure-strain rate correlations that scramble the TKE across the three diagonal components were comparatively enhanced for the bumpy wall, wave-current case. Consequently, unlike the flat wall, wave-current case, the bumpy wall, wave-current boundary layer exhibits increased mean flow drag. Finally, using direct numerical simulations of a wave-dominated, wave-current boundary layer over rough walls, it was shown that the simple eddy-viscosity-based drag model proposed by Grant and Madsen (1979), which is meant for the wave-dominated regime, applies because the near-wall flow is three-component-like and isotropic. Additionally, it was observed that the turbulence in the boundary layer responds quickly to the imposed wave-driven mean shear, thus validating the assumption in the eddy-viscosity type models that the turbulence and mean wave-driven shear are in phase. Collectively, these observations validate the use of simple drag models of wave-current boundary layers in large-scale coastal ocean models in the wave-dominated regime. Further work is needed to develop parameterisations for the bottom drag in current-dominated boundary layers.


Type of resource text
Form electronic resource; remote; computer; online resource
Extent 1 online resource.
Place California
Place [Stanford, California]
Publisher [Stanford University]
Copyright date 2023; ©2023
Publication date 2023; 2023
Issuance monographic
Language English


Author Patil, Akshay Laxman
Degree supervisor Fringer, Oliver B. (Oliver Bartlett)
Thesis advisor Fringer, Oliver B. (Oliver Bartlett)
Thesis advisor Gorle, Catherine
Thesis advisor Monismith, Stephen Gene
Degree committee member Gorle, Catherine
Degree committee member Monismith, Stephen Gene
Associated with Stanford University, School of Engineering
Associated with Stanford University, Civil & Environmental Engineering Department


Genre Theses
Genre Text

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Akshay Patil.
Note Submitted to the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department.
Thesis Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2023.

Access conditions

© 2023 by Akshay Laxman Patil
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-SA).

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