Direct numerical simulation of turbulent incompressible plane-channel flow between a smooth wall and one covered with regular three-dimensional roughness elements is performed. While the impact of roughness on the mean-velocity profile of turbulent wall layers is well understood, at least qualitatively, the manner in which other features are affected, especially in the outer layer, has been more controversial. We compare results from the smooth- and rough-wall sides of the channel for three different roughness heights of h += 5.4, 10.8, and 21.6 for Re ? of 400, to isolate the effects of the roughness on turbulent statistics and the instantaneous turbulence structure at large and small scales. We focus on the interaction between the near-wall and outer-layer regions, in particular the extent to which the near-wall behavior influences the flow further away from the surface. Roughness tends to increase the intensity of the velocity and vorticity fluctuations in the inner layer. In the outer layer, although the roughness alters the velocity fluctuations, the vorticity fluctuations are relatively unaffected. The higher-order moments and the energy budgets demonstrate significant differences between the smooth-wall and rough-wall sides in the processes associated with the wall-normal fluxes of the Reynolds shear stresses and turbulence kinetic energy. The length scales and flow dynamics in the roughness sublayer, the spatially inhomogeneous layer within which the flow is directly influenced by the individual roughness elements, are also examined. Alternative mechanisms involved in producing and maintaining near-wall turbulence in rough-wall boundary layers are also considered. We find that the strength of the inner/outer-layer interactions are greatly affected by the size of the roughness elements
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