Large Eddy Simulation of two-dimensional isotropic turbulence

Semion Sukoriansky, Alexei Chekhlov, Steven A. Orszag, Boris Galperin, Ilya Staroselsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Large eddy simulation (LES) of forced, homogeneous, isotropic two-dimensional (2D) turbulence in the energy transfer subrange is the subject of this paper. A difficulty specific to this LES and its subgrid scale (SGS) representation is in that the energy source resides in high wave number modes excluded in simulations. Therefore, the SGS scheme in this case should assume the function of the energy source. In addition, the controversial requirements to ensure direct enstrophy transfer and inverse energy transfer make the conventional scheme of positive and dissipative eddy viscosity inapplicable to 2D turbulence. It is shown that these requirements can be reconciled by utilizing a two-parametric viscosity introduced by Kraichnan (1976) that accounts for the energy and enstrophy exchange between the resolved and subgrid scale modes in a way consistent with the dynamics of 2D turbulence; it is negative on large scales, positive on small scales and complies with the basic conservation laws for energy and enstrophy. Different implementations of the two-parametric viscosity for LES of 2D turbulence were considered. It was found that if kept constant, this viscosity results in unstable numerical scheme. Therefore, another scheme was advanced in which the two-parametric viscosity depends on the flow field. In addition, to extend simulations beyond the limits imposed by the finiteness of computational domain, a large scale drag was introduced. The resulting LES exhibited remarkable and fast convergence to the solution obtained in the preceding direct numerical simulations (DNS) by Chekhlov et al. (1994) while the flow parameters were in good agreement with their DNS counterparts. Also, good agreement with the Kolmogorov theory was found. This LES could be continued virtually indefinitely. Then, a simplified SGS representation was designed, referred to as the stabilized negative viscosity (SNV) representation, which was based on two algebraic terms only, negative Laplacian and positive biharmonic ones. It was found that the SNV scheme performed in a fashion very similar to the full equation and it was argued that this scheme and its derivatives should be applied for SGS representation in LES of quasi-2D flows.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-45
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Scientific Computing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1996


  • Energy transfer range
  • Large-eddy simulation
  • Stabilized negative viscosity
  • Sub-grid scale
  • Two-dimensional turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Numerical Analysis
  • General Engineering
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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