Bounds on dissipation in stress-driven flow

W. Tang, C. P. Caulfield, W. R. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We calculate the optimal upper and lower bounds, subject to the assumption of streamwise invariance, on the long-time-averaged mechanical energy dissipation rate ε within the flow of an incompressible viscous fluid of constant kinematic viscosity ν and depth h driven by a constant surface stress τ = ρu*2, where u* is the friction velocity. We show that ε ≤ εmax = τ2/(ρ2ν), i.e. the dissipation is bounded above by the dissipation associated with the laminar solution u = τ(z+h)/(ρν)î, where î is the unit vector in the streamwise x-direction. By using the variational 'background method' (due to Constantin, Doering and Hopf) and numerical continuation, we also generate a rigorous lower bound on the dissipation for arbitra Grashof numbers G, where G = τh2/(ρν2). Under the assumption of streamwise invariance as G → ∞, for flows where horizontal mean momentum balance and total power balance are imposed as constraints, we show numerically that the best possible lower bound for the dissipation is ε ≥ εmin = 7.531u*3/h, a bound that is independent of the flow viscosity. This scaling (though not the best possible numerical coefficient) can also be obtained directly by applying the same imposed constraints and restricting attention to a particular, analytically tractable, class of mean flows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-352
Number of pages20
Journaljournal of fluid mechanics
StatePublished - Jul 10 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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