A numerical study of the unstratified and stratified Ekman layer
2014 (English)In: Journal of Fluid Mechanics, ISSN 0022-1120, E-ISSN 1469-7645, Vol. 755, 672-704 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
We study the turbulent Ekman layer at moderately high Reynolds number, 1600 < Re = delta(E)G/v < 3000, using direct numerical simulations (DNS). Here, delta(E) = root 2v/f is the laminar Ekman layer thickness, G the geostrophic wind, v the kinematic viscosity and f is the Coriolis parameter. We present results for both neutrally, moderately and strongly stably stratified conditions. For unstratified cases, large-scale roll-like structures extending from the outer region down to the wall are observed. These structures have a clear dominant frequency and could be related to periodic oscillations or instabilities developing near the low-level jet. We discuss the effect of stratification and Re on one-point and two-point statistics. In the strongly stratified Ekman layer we observe stable co-existing large-scale laminar and turbulent patches appearing in the form of inclined bands, similar to other wall-bounded flows. For weaker stratification, continuously sustained turbulence strongly affected by buoyancy is produced. We discuss the scaling of turbulent length scales, height of the Ekman layer, friction velocity, veering angle at the wall and heat flux. The boundary-layer thickness, the friction velocity and the veering angle depend on Lf/u(tau), where u(tau) is the friction velocity and L the Obukhov length scale, whereas the heat fluxes appear to scale with L+ = Lu-tau/v.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 755, 672-704 p.
atmospheric flows, turbulent boundary layers, turbulent flows
Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-136943DOI: 10.1017/jfm.2014.318ISI: 000341128600035ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84930503927OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-136943DiVA: diva2:677546
FunderKnut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
QC 201409302013-12-102013-12-102015-06-29Bibliographically approved