Accumulated densities of sedimenting particles in turbulent flows

Sozza, Alessandro; Drotos, Gabor; Hernandez-Garcia, Emilio; Lopez, Cristobal
Physics of Fluids 32, 075104 (1-11) (2020)

We study the effect of turbulence on a sedimenting layer of particles by means of direct numerical simulations. A Lagrangian model in which particles are considered as tracers with an additional downward settling velocity is integrated together with an isotropic homogeneous turbulent flow. We study the spatial distribution of particles when they are collected on a plane at non-asymptotic times. We relate the resulting coarse-grained particle density to the history of the stretching rate along the particle trajectory and the projection of the density onto the accumulation plane and analyze the deviation from homogeneity in terms of the Reynolds number and the settling velocity. We identify two regimes that arise during the early and well-mixed stages of advection. In the former regime, more inhomogeneity in the particle distribution is introduced for decreasing settling velocity or increasing Reynolds number, while the tendencies are opposite in the latter regime. A resonant-like crossover is found between these two regimes where inhomogeneity is maximal.

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