Very-large-scale motions (VLSMs) and large-scale motions (LSMs) coexist at moderate Reynolds numbers in a very long open channel flow. Direct numerical simulations two-way coupled with inertial particles are analysed using spectral information to investigate the modulation of VLSMs. In the wall-normal direction, particle distributions (mean/preferential concentration) exhibit two distinct behaviours in the inner flow and outer flow, corresponding to two highly anisotropic turbulent structures, LSMs and VLSMs. This results in particle inertia’s non-monotonic effects on the VLSMs: low inertia (based on the inner scale) and high inertia (based on the outer scale) both strengthen the VLSMs, whereas moderate and very high inertia have little influence. Through conditional tests, low- and high-inertia particles enhance VLSMs following two distinct routes. Low-inertia particles promote VLSMs indirectly through the enhancement of the regeneration cycle (the self-sustaining mechanism of LSMs) in the inner region, whereas high-inertia particles enhance the VLSM directly through contribution to the Reynolds shear stress at similar temporal scales in the outer region. This understanding also provides more general insight into inner–outer interaction in high-Reynolds-number, wall-bounded flows.
Wang and Richter supplementary movie