Cloud droplet diffusional growth in homogeneous isotropic turbulence: bin microphysics versus Lagrangian super-droplet simulations.

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Date: Mar. 17, 2021
From: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics(Vol. 21, Issue 5)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Article
Length: 414 words

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Abstract :

The increase in the spectral width of an initially monodisperse population of cloud droplets in homogeneous isotropic turbulence is investigated by applying a finite-difference fluid flow model combined with either Eulerian bin microphysics or a Lagrangian particle-based scheme. The turbulence is forced applying a variant of the so-called linear forcing method that maintains the mean turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) and the TKE partitioning between velocity components. The latter is important for maintaining the quasi-steady forcing of the supersaturation fluctuations that drive the increase in the spectral width. We apply a large computational domain (64.sup.3 m.sup.3 ), one of the domains considered in Thomas et al. (2020). The simulations apply 1 m grid length and are in the spirit of the implicit large eddy simulation (ILES), that is, with small-scale dissipation provided by the model numerics. This is in contrast to the scaled-up direct numerical simulation (DNS) applied in Thomas et al. (2020). Two TKE intensities and three different droplet concentrations are considered. Analytic solutions derived in Sardina et al. (2015), valid for the case when the turbulence integral timescale is much larger than the droplet phase relaxation timescale, are used to guide the comparison between the two microphysics simulation techniques. The Lagrangian approach reproduces the scalings relatively well. Representing the spectral width increase in time is more challenging for the bin microphysics because appropriately high resolution in the bin space is needed. The bin width of 0.5 µm is only sufficient for the lowest droplet concentration (26 cm.sup.-3). For the highest droplet concentration (650 cm.sup.-3 ), an order of magnitude smaller bin size is barely sufficient. The scalings are not expected to be valid for the lowest droplet concentration and the high-TKE case, and the two microphysics schemes represent similar departures. Finally, because the fluid flow is the same for all simulations featuring either low or high TKE, one can compare point-by-point simulation results. Such a comparison shows very close temperature and water vapor point-by-point values across the computational domain and larger differences between simulated mean droplet radii and spectral width. The latter are explained by fundamental differences in the two simulation methodologies, numerical diffusion in the Eulerian bin approach and a relatively small number of Lagrangian particles that are used in the particle-based microphysics.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A655342532