Project B12 - Phase field models in the coupled simulation of atmosphere and ocean
Principal investigators: Michael Hinze
Background and Motivation
The energy transfer from the wind to the ocean surface and the energy dissipation caused by breaking waves accounts for the largest transfer of energy from the atmosphere to the ocean. However, despite the importance of the processes involved in surface wave generation and breaking, there are still fundamental gaps when it comes to modeling these processes. We hope that the diffuse interface methods developed for the Cahn-Hilliard/Navier-Stokes system will provide an improved method to deal with the current shortcomings of the simulation of the air-water interface. We believe that the method is well suited for that purpose due to its thermodynamical consistency, its mass-conserving property and its ability to handle topological changes, which might occur in breaking waves.
Aims and Objectives
We will use diffuse interface methods for two-phase flows with variable densities for the thermodynamically-consistent and coupled simulation of the air-water interface, with focus on the formation and breaking of wind-generated surface waves. Wind is incorporated into the model via appropriate volume forces and boundary conditions. Previous results for the fully integrated adaptive finite element approach will be extended to three spatial dimensions. This includes the development and implementation of tailored iterative solvers and corresponding preconditioners. Also, incorporating real world parameters will require additional measures like e.g. stabilization to account for large Reynolds numbers. Altogether, we hope to lay the groundwork for future process modeling of atmosphere-ocean coupling for a better understanding of the involved energy transfers.
PhD student: Nicolas Scharmacher