Analysis and control of errors in the numerical simulation of turbulence

Sandip Ghosal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Turbulent flows are characterised by a continuum of length and time scales, a feature that introduces some unique problems in relation to the analysis and control of errors in numerical simulations of turbulent flows. In direct numerical simulation (DNS) one attempts to fully resolve the flow field. The primary sources of error in DNS are the aliasing error, which arises due to the evaluation of the nonlinear term on a discrete grid in physical space, and, the truncation error, due to the discretization of the derivative operator. In addition there are the time-stepping errors on account of the temporal discretization. In Large Eddy Simulation (LES) only the large scale flow is computed whereas the collective effect of the small scales are modeled. In that case, in addition to the above three types of errors, there are commutation errors arising out of the averaging process used to derive the LES equations and sub-grid modeling errors that arise because in the absence of a systematic method, the subgrid stress is evaluated using an ad hoc closure model. Methods for analyzing and quantifying these errors in turbulence simulations are discussed. In some instances the analysis points to suitable methods of error control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTURBULENT FLOW COMPUTATION
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004

Publication series

NameFluid Mechanics and its Applications
ISSN (Print)0926-5112


  • Aliasing error
  • DNS
  • LES
  • Sub-grid modeling
  • Truncation error
  • Turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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