We investigate the role of eddy viscosity variation and the effect of zonal enforcement of the mass flow rate on the log-layer mismatch problem observed in turbulent channel flows. An analysis of the mean momentum balance shows that it lacks a degree-of-freedom (DOF) when eddy viscosity is large, and the mean velocity conforms to an incorrect profile. Zonal enforcement of the target flow rate introduces an additional degree-of-freedom to the mean momentum balance, similar to an external stochastic forcing term, leading to a significant reduction in the log-layer mismatch. We simulate turbulent channel flows at friction Reynolds numbers of 2000 and 5200 on coarse meshes that do not resolve the viscous sublayer. The second-order turbulence statistics agree well with the direct numerical simulation benchmark data when results are normalized by the velocity scale extracted from the filtered velocity field. Zonal enforcement of the flow rate also led to significant improvements in skin friction coefficients.

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