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Modeling of Langmuir circulation : triple decomposition of the Craik - Leibovitch model

DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.2012.ProcSevIntSympTurbHeatTransfPal.1120
pages 1079-1089

Guillaume Martinat
Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography, Old Dominion University 4111 Monarch Way, 23508, Norfolk, VA, USA

Chester E. Grosch
Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography and Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia 23529, USA

Thomas B. Gatski
Institut Pprime, CNRS-Université de Poitiers-ENSMA F86036 Poitiers cedex, France; Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography and Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia 23529 USA


Turbulent shear flows on shallow continental shelves (here shallow means that the interaction with the solid, no-slip bottom is important) are of great importance because of their role in vertical mixing as well as on the transport of sediment and bioactive material. The presence of a wavefield in these areas can lead to the appearance of Langmuir circulation which is known to strongly affect the dynamic of a turbulent flow. To investigate those dynamical effects, we apply a triple decompostion to the LES results of Langmuir circulation in order to extract the coherent structures from the background random fluctuations and compare the results to a more classical double decomposition. The triple decomposition outlines the need to take into account the energy exchange between coherent and random fluctuations as well as the impact of the coherent structures on the overall turbulence dynamic.

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