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The flow of viscous incompressible fluid over a periodically corrugated surface is investigated numerically by solving the Navier–Stokes equation with the local slip and no-slip boundary conditions. We consider the effective slip length which is defined with respect to the level of the mean height of the surface roughness. With increasing corrugation amplitude the effective no-slip boundary plane is shifted toward the bulk of the fluid, which implies a negative effective slip length. The analysis of the wall shear stress indicates that a flow circulation is developed in the grooves of the rough surface provided that the local boundary condition is no-slip. By applying a local slip boundary condition, the center of the vortex is displaced toward the bottom of the grooves and the effective slip length increases. When the intrinsic slip length is larger than the corrugation amplitude, the flow streamlines near the surface are deformed to follow the boundary curvature, the vortex vanishes, and the effective slip length saturates to a constant value. Inertial effects promote vortex flow formation in the grooves and reduce the effective slip length.


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