This paper reviews results obtained using statistical state dynamics (SSD) that demonstrate the benefits of adopting this perspective for understanding turbulence in wall-bounded shear flows. The SSD approach used in this work employs a second-order closure that retains only the interaction between the streamwise mean flow and the streamwise mean perturbation covariance. This closure restricts nonlinearity in the SSD to that explicitly retained in the streamwise constant mean flow together with nonlinear interactions between the mean flow and the perturbation covariance. This dynamical restriction, in which explicit perturbation–perturbation nonlinearity is removed from the perturbation equation, results in a simplified dynamics referred to as the restricted nonlinear (RNL) dynamics. RNL systems, in which a finite ensemble of realizations of the perturbation equation share the same mean flow, provide tractable approximations to the SSD, which is equivalent to an infinite ensemble RNL system. This infinite ensemble system, referred to as the stochastic structural stability theory system, introduces new analysis tools for studying turbulence. RNL systems provide computationally efficient means to approximate the SSD and produce self-sustaining turbulence exhibiting qualitative features similar to those observed in direct numerical simulations despite greatly simplified dynamics. The results presented show that RNL turbulence can be supported by as few as a single streamwise varying component interacting with the streamwise constant mean flow and that judicious selection of this truncated support or ‘band-limiting’ can be used to improve quantitative accuracy of RNL turbulence. These results suggest that the SSD approach provides new analytical and computational tools that allow new insights into wall turbulence.
This article is part of the themed issue ‘Toward the development of high-fidelity models of wall turbulence at large Reynolds number’.
One contribution of 14 to a theme issue ‘Toward the development of high-fidelity models of wall turbulence at large Reynolds number’.
- Accepted December 2, 2016.
- © 2017 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.