# LARGE EDDY SIMULATION

Chin-Hoh Moeng NCAR

OUTLINE
• WHAT IS LES? • APPLICATIONS TO PBL • FUTURE DIRECTION

WHAT IS LES?
A NUMERICAL TOOL FOR TURBULENT FLOWS

Turbulent Flows
• • • • • • governing equations, known nonlinear term >> dissipation term no analytical solution highly diffusive smallest eddies ~ mm largest eddies --- depend on Renumber (U; L; υ )

Numerical methods of studying turbulence
• Reynolds-averaged modeling (RAN) model just ensemble statistics • Direct numerical simulation (DNS) resolve for all eddies • Large eddy simulation (LES) intermediate approach

LES
Resolved large eddies

turbulent flow

(important eddies)

Subfilter scale, small
(not so important)

FIRST NEED TO SEPARATE THE FLOW FIELD
• Select a filter function G • Define the resolved-scale (large-eddy):

~ f ( x) ≡ ∫ f ( x′)G ( x, x′)dx′
~ f ′′( x) = f ( x) − f ( x)

• Find the unresolved-scale (SGS or SFS):

Examples of filter functions
Top-hat

Gaussian

Example: An 1-D flow field

f
pl Ap r l te fi y

~ f ( x) ⇒ f ( x) + f ′′( x)
large eddies

Reynolds averaged model (RAN)

f
se en ply ble m a g v

Ap

f ( x) ⇒ f ( x) + f ' ( x)
non-turbulent

LES EQUATIONS
∂ i u ∂ i u gi ∂2ui 1 ∂ p +u j = θ− +υ 2 ∂ t ∂ j x T0 ρ∂ i x ∂ j x
y ppl A G ter fil

~ = ui ∫

∫ u∫G dxdydz
i

~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ∂(u i u j − u i u j ) ∂u i ~ ∂u i g i ~ 1 ∂p ∂ 2ui +uj = θ − − +υ 2 ∂t ∂x j T0 ρ ∂xi ∂x j ∂x j
SFS

~

Different Reynolds number turbulent flows
• Small Re flows: laboratory (tea cup) turbulence; largest eddies ~ O(m); RAN or DNS • Medium Re flows: engineering flows; largest eddies ~ O(10 m); RAN or DNS or LES • Large Re flows: geophysical turbulence; largest eddies > km; RAN or LES

Geophysical turbulence
• • • • • • PBL (pollution layer) boundary layer in the ocean turbulence inside forest deep convection convection in the Sun …..

LES of PBL
km
resolved eddies L

m
SFS eddies

mm

>>

∆f

energy input

inertial range, κ

−5 / 3
dissipation

Major difference between engineer and geophysical flows: near the wall
• Engineering flow: viscous layer
• Geophysical flow: inertial-subrange
layer; need to use surface-layer theory

The premise of LES
• Large eddies, most energy and fluxes, explicitly calculated • Small eddies, little energy and fluxes, parameterized, SFS model

The premise of LES
• Large eddies, most energy and fluxes, explicitly calculated • Small eddies, little energy and fluxes, parameterized, SFS model

LES solution is supposed to be insensitive to SFS model

Caution
• near walls, eddies small, unresolved • very stable region, eddies intermittent • cloud physics, chemical reaction… more uncertainties

A typical setup of PBL-LES
• • • • • • • 100 x 100 x 100 points grid sizes < tens of meters time step < seconds higher-order schemes, not too diffusive spin-up time ~ 30 min, no use simulation time ~ hours massive parallel computers

Different PBL Flow Regimes
• numerical setup • large-scale forcing • flow characteristics

Clear-air convective PBL
Convective updrafts
Ug
~ 2 km

z

Θ
Q∗
~ 5 km

Horizontal homogeneous CBL

LIDAR Observation

Local Time

Oceanic boundary layer

τ
z

Θ
~ 300 m

Add vortex force for Langmuir flows

McWilliam et al 1997

Oceanic boundary layer

τ
z

Θ

~ 300 m
Add vortex force for Langmuir flows
McWilliams et al 1997

Canopy turbulence
U0
< 100 m

z
~ 200 m

Patton et al 1997

Comparison with observation

observation

LES

Shallow cumulus clouds
~ 12 hr
Ug

Θ
~3 km

z

cloud layer
Q∗
~ 6 km Add phase change---condensation/evaporation

COUPLED with SURFACE
• turbulence • turbulence heterogeneous land ocean surface wave

Coupled with heterogeneous soil

LES model
the ground

z
Surface model

Wet soil Dry soil

Land model

30 km

Coupled with heterogeneous soil

wet soil

dry soil

(Patton et al 2003)

Coupled with wavy surface

stably stratified

U-field

flat surface

stationary wave

moving wave

So far, idealized PBLs
• Flat surface • Periodic in x & y • Shallow clouds

Future Direction of LES for PBL Research • Realistic surface
– complex terrain, land use, waves • PBL under severe weather

mesoscale model domain 500 km

50 km
LES domain

Computational challenge

Resolve turbulent motion in Taipei basin ~ 1000 x 1000 x 100 grid points

Massive parallel machines

Technical issues
• Inflow boundary condition • SFS effect near irregular surfaces • Proper scaling; representations of ensemble mean

?

?

How to describe a turbulent inflow?

What do we do with LES solutions?
Understand turbulence behavior & diffusion property Develop/calibrate PBL models i.e. Reynolds average models

CLASSIC EXAMPLES • Deardorff (1972; JAS) - mixed layer scaling • Lamb (1978; atmos env) - plume dispersion

FUTURE GOAL
Understand PBL in complex environment and improve its parameterization for regional and climate models
– – – – turbulent fluxes air quality cloud chemical transport/reaction