Initial condition effects on large scale structure in numerical simulations of plane mixing layers

W.A. McMullan, Stephen Garrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, Large Eddy Simulations are performed on the spatially developing plane turbulent mixing layer. The simulated mixing layers originate from initially laminar conditions. The focus of this research is on the effect of the nature of the imposed fluctuations on the large-scale spanwise and streamwise structures in the flow. Two simulations are performed; one with low-level three-dimensional inflow fluctuations obtained from pseudo-random numbers, the other with physically correlated fluctuations of the same magnitude obtained from an inflow generation technique. Where white-noise fluctuations provide the inflow disturbances, no spatially stationary streamwise vortex structure is observed, and the large-scale spanwise turbulent vortical structures grow continuously and linearly. These structures are observed to have a three-dimensional internal geometry with branches and dislocations. Where physically correlated provide the inflow disturbances a “streaky” streamwise structure that is spatially stationary is observed, with the large-scale turbulent vortical structures growing with the square-root of time. These large-scale structures are quasi-two-dimensional, on top of which the secondary structure rides. The simulation results are discussed in the context of the varying interpretations of mixing layer growth that have been postulated. Recommendations are made concerning the data required from experiments in order to produce accurate numerical simulation recreations of real flows.
Original languageEnglish
Article number015111
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2016


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