Error estimates for the Smagorinsky turbulence model: enhanced stability through scale separation and numerical stabilization

Erik Burman, Peter Hansbo, Mats G. Larson

In the present work we show some results on the effect of the Smagorinsky model on the stability of the associated perturbation equation. We show that in the presence of a spectral gap, such that the flow can be decomposed in a large scale with moderate gradient and a small amplitude fine scale with arbitratry gradient, the Smagorinsky model admits stability estimates for perturbations, with exponential growth depending only on the large scale gradient. We then show in the context of stabilized finite element methods that the same result carries over to the approximation and that in this context, for suitably chosen finite element spaces the Smagorinsky model acts as a stabilizer yielding close to optimal error estimates in the $L^2$-norm for smooth flows in the pre-asymptotic high Reynolds number regime.

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