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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2003 Sep;68(3 Pt 2):036705. Epub 2003 Sep 16.

Can a numerically stable subgrid-scale model for turbulent flow computation be ideally accurate?: a preliminary theoretical study for the Gaussian filtered Navier-Stokes equations.

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Collaborative Research Center of Frontier Simulation Software for Industrial Science, Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-Ku, Tokyo 153-8505, Japan.


This paper introduces a candidate for the origin of the numerical instabilities in large eddy simulation repeatedly observed in academic and practical industrial flow computations. Without resorting to any subgrid-scale modeling, but based on a simple assumption regarding the streamwise component of flow velocity, it is shown theoretically that in a channel-flow computation, the application of the Gaussian filtering to the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations yields a numerically unstable term, a cross-derivative term, which is similar to one appearing in the Gaussian filtered Vlasov equation derived by Klimas [J. Comput. Phys. 68, 202 (1987)] and also to one derived recently by Kobayashi and Shimomura [Phys. Fluids 15, L29 (2003)] from the tensor-diffusivity subgrid-scale term in a dynamic mixed model. The present result predicts that not only the numerical methods and the subgrid-scale models employed but also only the applied filtering process can be a seed of this numerical instability. An investigation concerning the relationship between the turbulent energy scattering and the unstable term shows that the instability of the term does not necessarily represent the backscatter of kinetic energy which has been considered a possible origin of numerical instabilities in large eddy simulation. The present findings raise the question whether a numerically stable subgrid-scale model can be ideally accurate.


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