Direct numerical simulation of planktonic contact in turbulent flow

Hidekatsu Yamazaki, Thomas R. Osborn, Kyle D. Squires

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


We have investigated planktonic contact rates in a turbulent flow simulated directly from the Navier-Stokes equations. Although our simulation is a low Reynolds number flow, Reλ=38, it is realistic for the ocean. Particles adverted by the flow field while swimming were modeled by a random walk generated from a Maxwell distribution. In order to deduce the effect of turbulence on the contact rate we also calculated the contact rates for swimming alone without turbulence. Our numerical method can quantify the increase in planktonic contacts due to turbulence. We show that the effect of turbulence is enhanced when the capture radius is increased. We compare our calculations with the Gerritsen and Strickler model as well as a classic thermodynamic particle collision model

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-643
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Plankton Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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