A spectral analysis and a multiscale study are performed on the numerical data obtained from direct numerical simulation and large-eddy simulation of the turbulent flow in a cubical lid-driven cavity. The analyzed data or signals are picked at three specific points inside the cavity allowing to investigate three drastically different flow regimes over time: laminar, transitional and turbulent. In comparison with direct numerical simulation, large-eddy simulation not only have a reduced resolution in space but also in time. In this context a wavelet analysis is chosen to study signals from large-eddy simulation, to provide a 'local' analysis of transient turbulent events. A time-scale joint representation is generated by continuous wavelet transform and compared with the time-scale joint representation of the direct numerical simulation. In this framework, the main objective of this study is to confirm the correlation between the computed physical quantities and those expected theoretically. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.