Direct numerical simulations of turbulence and hyporheic mixing near sediment-water interfaces

GC Shen and JL Yuan and MS Phanikumar, JOURNAL OF FLUID MECHANICS, 892, A20 (2020).

DOI: 10.1017/jfm.2020.173

The effects of bed roughness, isolated from those of bed permeability, on the vertical transport processes across the sediment-water interface (SWI) are not well understood. We compare the statistics and structure of the mean flow and turbulence in open-channel flows with a friction Reynolds number of 395 and a permeability Reynolds number of 2.6 over sediments with either regular or random grain packing at the SWI. The regular sediment interface is formed by cubic packing of spheres aligned with the mean-velocity direction. It is shown that, even in the absence of any bedform, the subtle details of the particle roughness alone can significantly affect the dynamics of turbulence and the time-mean flow. Such effects translate to large differences in penetration depths, apparent permeabilities, vertical mass fluxes and subsurface flow paths of passive scalars. The less organized distribution of mean recirculation regions near the interface with a random packing leads to a more isotropic form-induced stress tensor. The augmented wall-normal form-induced fluctuations play a significant role in increasing mixing and wall-normal mass and momentum exchange.

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