Large-eddy simulation of starting buoyant jets

Ruo Qian Wang, Adrian Wing Keung Law, E. Eric Adams, Oliver B. Fringer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


A series of Large Eddy Simulations (LES) are performed to investigate the penetration of starting buoyant jets. The LES code is first validated by comparing simulation results with existing experimental data for both steady and starting pure jets and lazy plumes. The centerline decay and the growth rate of the velocity and concentration fields for steady jets and plumes, as well as the simulated transient penetration rate of a starting pure jet and a starting lazy plume, are found to compare well with the experiments. After validation, the LES code is used to study the penetration of starting buoyant jets with three different Reynolds numbers from 2000 to 3000, and with a wide range of buoyancy fluxes from pure jets to lazy plumes. The penetration rate is found to increase with an increasing buoyancy flux. It is also observed that, in the initial Period of Flow Development, the two penetrative mechanisms driven by the initial buoyancy and momentum fluxes are uncoupled; therefore the total penetration rate can be resolved as the linear addition of these two effects. A fitting equation is proposed to predict the penetration rate by combining the two independent mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)591-609
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironmental Fluid Mechanics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology


  • Buoyant jet
  • Large Eddy Simulation (LES)
  • Penetration
  • Starting phenomenon


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