Impact of spray droplets on momentum and heat transport in a turbulent marine atmospheric boundary layer

Ming Pan, Caixi Liu, Qingxiang Li, Shuai Tang, Lian Shen, Yuhong Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Droplet-laden turbulent airflow (i.e. the mixture of dry air and water vapor) in the marine atmospheric boundary layer is described by an open channel flow configuration in direct numerical simulation (DNS). The dispersed phase, the spray droplets are tracked in a Lagrangian framework, and their impact on the carrier airflow is modeled with the two-way coupling between the two phases. A wide-range droplet size is typically found near the air–sea interface according to the sea spray concentration function (SSCF). The interactions of the droplets with turbulent airflow including mass, momentum, and energy exchange are investigated here. We found a balancing mechanism exists in the droplet effects on the turbulent drag coefficient, since spray droplets lead to a decreased vertical turbulent momentum transport, but also lead to an increased droplet contribution to total drag coefficient. For the heat transfer, as droplet mass loading increasing, the total Nusselt number decreases due to the depression of turbulent heat flux and enhanced negative droplet convective flux.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalTheoretical and Applied Mechanics Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( Grants 11572183 and 91852111 ), Program of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission ( Grant 2019-01-07-00-09-E00018 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of The Chinese Society of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics


  • Air-sea interface
  • Direct numerical simulation
  • Sea spray
  • Turbulent airflow


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