Analysis of errors occurring in large-eddy simulation

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We analyse the effect of second- and fourth-order accurate central finite-volume discretizations on the outcome of large eddy simulations of homogeneous, isotropic, decaying turbulence at an initial Taylor–Reynolds number Re¿=100. We determine the implicit filter that is induced by the spatial discretization and show that a higher order discretization also induces a higher order filter, i.e. a low-pass filter that keeps a wider range of flow scales virtually unchanged. The effectiveness of the implicit filtering is correlated with the optimal refinement strategy as observed in an error-landscape analysis based on Smagorinsky's subfilter model. As a point of reference, a finite-volume method that is second-order accurate for both the convective and the viscous fluxes in the Navier–Stokes equations is used. We observe that changing to a fourth-order accurate convective discretization leads to a higher value of the Smagorinsky coefficient CS required to achieve minimal total error at given resolution. Conversely, changing only the viscous flux discretization to fourth-order accuracy implies that optimal simulation results are obtained at lower values of CS. Finally, a fully fourth-order discretization yields an optimal CS that is slightly lower than the reference fully second-order method.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2885-2903
Number of pages9
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number1899
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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