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# 3D Navier-Stokes Equations1

Here we will present the Navier-Stokes equations, which govern the dynamics of
liquid or gas fluids, such as air movements in the atmosphere, ocean currents an
d the
way in which water flows in rivers and conduits. In the sections that follow, we
will
present their applications within these different domains, along with their diff
erent
levels of simplification.
The foundational axioms of fluid dynamics are the conservation laws, that is, th
e
conservation of mass, momentum and total energy, to which we add the equation of
state.
2.1. The continuity hypothesis
Matter is made up of a set of molecules in constant motion, which undergo
elastic collisions with each another and thus demonstrate a highly discontinuous
mass and movement-quantity distribution. It is possible to adopt a macroscopic
viewpoint, however, by considering a volume domain, ?V, small enough that it may
be treated as occasional, but large enough so that adding or removing a molecule
is
negligible when estimating the mean parameters for ?V. Here, we introduce the
notion of a fluid particle and we thus consider fluids to be continuous. This
approach results in macroscopic parameters such as density, pressure, temperatur
e
and velocity being defined, based on the mean values of other parameters defined
on
a molecular scale, thus enabling us to take into account the average behavior of
molecules within volume ?V, around a point, M.
Chapter written by Vronique DUCROCQ.
Mathematical Models Edited by Jean-Michel Tanguy
2010 ISTE Ltd. Published 2010 by ISTE Ltd.
36 Environmental Hydraulics 2
2.2. Lagrangian description/Eulerian description
There are two possible approaches to mathematically describing the properties of
a fluid in motion: the Lagrangian description and the Eulerian description.
With the first approach, we monitor the fluid particle over the course of time,
aware of its position at every instant. The position will be known from the Cart
esian
coordinates, for example:
( ) 0 0 0 , , , p p p p x t x y z , ( ) 0 0 0 , , , p p p p y t x y z , ( ) 0 0
0 , , , p p p p z t x y z ,
where 0 , p x 0 , p y 0 p z represent the coordinates of the selected particle a
t the initial
instant, t0 . The particle s velocity will have the components:
, p x
u
t
?
=
?
, p y
v
t
?
=
?
, p z
w
t
?

=
?
and we will define the particle s trajectory as the set of points M covered by the
particle since the initial instant.
The Euler method, meanwhile, consists of knowing the particles velocity at each
instant, t , at a fixed location determined by its coordinates, e.g. its Cartesi
an
coordinates, x , y , z . This approach is associated with the current lines (vel
ocity
vector parallel to the current lines at each point).
Theory insert: Lagrangian derivative/Eulerian derivative
Let us consider the scalar function ? (x , y , z ,t ) that takes account of
a characteristic quantity of the fluid at point x , y , z and time t . The fluid
particle at time t +dt will be at point x +u dt , y +v dt , z +w dt . The variat
ion in
? at a time dt will therefore be equal to the sum of all the partial variations:
( , , ) ( , , )
.
d x udty vdtz wdt xyz
u dt v dt w dt
x y z
? ? ?
? ? ?
= + + + = ? + ? + ?
? ? ?
The derivative d ,
dt
? also denoted D ,
Dt
? measures the temporal development of
the scalar function by monitoring the particle throughout its movement (Lagrangi
an
or total derivative). The temporal development of ? at a fixed point (Eulerian o
r
3D Navier-Stokes Equations 37
localized development) is due to both the creation or destruction of the value o
f ?
associated with each particle and the transportation of ? (advection) through th
e
movement of the particles:
?? ??
D u v w D U grad .
t Dt x y z Dt
? ? ? ? ? ? ?
? ? ? ? ? ? = - ? + + ? = - ? ? ? ? ? ?
?? ??????????
??????????????????????
2.3. The continuity equation
The continuity equation is created based on the mass conservation for a basic
volume.
Let us take as an example a density fluid particle, ? , contained in a volume, V
(Figure 2.1). The mass conservation indicates that the mass variation in V is eq
ual to
the mass flow over the surface, S:
.
V S
d dv U dS
dt

??? ? = -?? ?
?? ??????
If we consider Ostrogradsky s theorem, . ( ) ,
S V
?? ?U dS =??? Div ?U dv
?? ?????? ??
and in
the absence of a source and sink inside V, we obtain the following continuity
equation:
Div( U )
t
?? = - ?
?
??
.
This equation indicates that the mass in the vicinity of a point increases if th
e
mass flow is convergent and decreases if the mass flow is divergent.
Figure 2.1. Surface elements
38 Environmental Hydraulics 2
In Lagrangian form, the continuity equation is written as follows:
Div( U ) 0.
t
?? + ? =
?
??
Two specific examples are to be considered:
? is constant: the fluid is then said to be incompressible:
Div(U ) = 0;
??
? is independent of t: the fluid is then said to be stationary:
0 Div( U ) 0.
t
?? = ? ? =
?
??
2.4. The movement quantity assessment equation
The quantity of motion conservation law, also known as Newton s Second Law,
indicates that in an inertial reference frame the acceleration to which a fluid
particle
of mass, M = ? dV , is subjected is equal to the sum of the external forces:
a d MU
F
dt
= ?
?? ??
with a U
??
velocity in the inertial (absolute) reference frame.
Essentially, there are three external forces:
the forces due to pressure forces, ; p F
??
the forces due to one or more external force fields; the most common being the
field of gravity, g?? , for which we will annotate this force ; g F
??
the forces due to viscosity, . v F
??
2.4.1. Pressure force
Let us consider a fluid particle centered on point 0 0 0 (x , y , z ) and with p
ressure

## 0 P , as illustrated in Figure 2.2.

3D Navier-Stokes Equations 39
Figure 2.2. Pressure forces along the x-axis
The fluid external to the fluid particle exerts pressure forces orthogonally to
the
particle surface. In the direction of the x-axis, if we overlook the high orders
of the
Taylor series development, the pressure force exerted at A may be expressed as
follows:
0 .
2 Ax
F P P x y z
x
= -? + ? ? ?? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Likewise at B, the pressure force may be written as follows:
0 .
2 Bx
F P P x y z
x
= ? - ? ? ?? ? ? ? ? ? ?
The resulting force acting on the basic volume is therefore as follows:
. x Ax Bx
F F F P x y z
x
? ? ? ? = + =-?
The same reasoning is applied for both other directions with the result that the
pressure force is thus written as grad( ) . p F = - P dv
?? ??????????
It is important to note that the pressure force is proportional to the pressure
gradient and not just to the pressure itself.
40 Environmental Hydraulics 2
2.4.2. The force of the Earth s gravity
The force of gravitational pull, directed towards the center of the Earth, is
exerted on all elements of matter with mass M and is equal to
2T ,
g
F M M G k
r
=
?? ??
where MT is the Earth s mass, G = 6.67 10 11 N m2 kg 2 is the gravitational
constant and r is the distance between the center of the Earth and the fluid par
ticle
being considered.
It is common practice to define the Earth s gravitational field as follows:
*
2 T , g M G k
r
= ?? ??
and express the Earth s gravitational force as a function of it: * . g F = ? g dv
?? ??
2.4.3. The viscosity force
The viscosity of a fluid is the measure of its resistance to flow. The viscosity
force by surface unit, also known as the stress sensor, is proportional to the f
low
velocity gradient. The component of the stress sensor in the x direction due to
the
vertical shearing of the velocity component along x is thus expressed as follows
:

, zx
u
z
? ?
?
= where is the dynamic viscosity coefficient.
The three components of viscosity force take the following general form:
, xx xy xz
vx F
x y z
? ?? ?? ?? ?
= ? + + ? ? ? ? ? ?
, yx yy yz
vy F
x y z
? ?? ?? ?? ?
= ? + + ? ? ? ? ? ?
zx zy zz
vz F
x y z
? ?? ?? ?? ?
= ? + + ? ? ? ? ? ?
.
3D Navier-Stokes Equations 41
2.5. The energy balance equation
The law for the development of the total energy of a fluid particle is given by
the
first principle of thermodynamics, that is, the variation in the sum of the
macroscopic kinetic energy and the internal energy is equal to the sum of the ef
fort
of the forces applied to the system and the heat exchanged with the exterior as
follows:
( ( ) ) ext
1 .
2
d e K v d e U U v W Q
dt dt
? ? ? ? ? ?
? ? ? ? + = ? ? + ? ? = +
? ? ? ?
?? ?? ??
In order to evaluate the force effort balance, let us firstly consider the press
ure
force. We can demonstrate that its effort is expressed using pressure W?? =
-Div(P U )?v.
??
The Earth s gravitational force also produces an effort, which is as
follows: *
gravity W = ? g U ?v.
?? ?? If we apply the mass conservation and the motion
quantity equation (overlooking the occurrence of friction), we can demonstrate t
hat
the total energy law becomes
( ) Div( ) . v
d c T P U Q
dt
?
?
= - +
?? ??

## 2.6. The equation of state

In order to complete the system of equations, an additional equation regarding
the fluid type is necessary; this takes the general form: ? = ? (P,T ) .
For example, in the atmosphere, it is assumed that air adheres to the law for
perfect gases:
P ,
RT
? = ?
where R is the constant for the mixture of gases.
2.7. Navier-Stokes equations for a fluid in rotation
Until now, we have adhered to an absolute reference frame. Let us now express
the equation for motion within the relative reference frame of the Earth s system.
42 Environmental Hydraulics 2
The relationship between the absolute velocity, , a U
??
and the velocity, , r U
??
within
the Earth s reference frame may be established using the following relationship:
a , d A dA A
dt dt
= +??
?? ?? ?? ??
where ?
??
is the Earth s rotational vector. If we apply this relationship to the position
vector, r??, of a particle, we obtain , r
dA
dt
U = +?? r
?? ?? ?? ?? which indicates that the
absolute velocity is the sum of the relative velocity and the velocity produced
by the
Earth s rotation.
If we apply the previous equations to the velocity vector, we obtain
a a a r 2 ,
a r e
d U dU U dU U U
dt dt dt
= +?? = + ?? -??
?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
where . eU = ?? r
?? ?? ?? The vector 2 ,r ??U
?? ??
which is perpendicular to the relative
velocity, is known as the Coriolis acceleration. e ??U
?? ??
is a vector of module 2 , r ?
??
parallel to the equatorial plane and directed towards the Earth s rotational axis.
It
may be combined with the field of the Earth s gravitational pull to form gravity o
r
the gravitational field, which is annotated g.
????
The combination of the force of
attraction, F g ,
????
and the centrifugal inertia force is known as the gravitational force
(or weight):

* . e P = ? g -? ??U = ? g
?? ?? ?? ?? ??
The equation for motion within the Earth s reference frame is thus written as
follows:
r 1 grad( ) 2 Div( ).
r
dU g P U
dt
?
?
= - - ?? +
?? ?????????? ?? ?? ??
These general equations are widely used, generally in a simplified manner,
within all the domains approached in this book.