Large Eddy Simulation (LES) has become an increasingly attractive option for turbulence modeling due to the rise in computing power and the improvement in sub-grid scale (SGS) parameterizations. This study tests the improvements in simulations of wall-bounded flows over heterogeneous surfaces attained by the implementation of three improvements in the eddy-viscosity SGS closure: the dynamic model by Germano et al. [1], the Lagrangian model by Meneveau et al. [2], and the scale-dependent approach by Porte´-Agel et al. [3]. The dynamic model consists of using the resolved scales to ‘measure’ the model coefficient during the simulation; therefore, no a-priori knowledge of the coefficient or the flow physics is needed. The traditional dynamic approach averages the coefficient over statistically homogeneous directions to numerically stabilize the simulations. The Lagrangian model relaxes the need for homogeneous directions by averaging the coefficient over pathlines, hence allowing local determination of the coefficient and facilitating applications to complex-geometry flows. The scale-dependent approach uses the dynamic formulation but does not assume that the SGS coefficients are scale-invariant, as is the case in traditional dynamic formulations. The deficiencies of the traditional Smagorinsky model are confirmed. Implementation of a dynamic model treats some of these deficiencies but is found to be under-dissipative close to the wall in high Reynolds number LES that does not resolve the viscous layer. The sensitivity of the model coefficient to the wall roughness is demonstrated thus confirming the need for a local SGS model such as the Lagrangian model used here. Finally, when the Lagrangian-dynamic model is implemented with the scale-dependent formulation, the results improve significantly.

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