Fluctuations in saffman-taylor fingers with quenched disorder

Year: 2006
  • Torralba, M.
  • Ortín, J.
  • Hernández-Machado, A.
  • Poiré, E. Corvera
Journal: Physical Review E Volume: E73
Pages: 046302-01-046302-7
ISSN: 1539-3755
We make an experimental characterization of the effect that static disorder has on the shape of a normal Saffman-Taylor finger. We find that static noise induces a small amplitude and long wavelength instability on the sides of the finger. Fluctuations on the finger sides have a dominant wavelength, indicating that the system acts as a selective amplifier of static noise. The dominant wavelength does not seem to be very sensitive to the intensity of static noise present in the system. On the other hand, at a given flow rate, rms fluctuations of the finger width, decrease with decreasing intensity of static noise. This might explain why the sides of the fingers are flat for typical Saffman-Taylor experiments. Comparison with previous numerical studies of the effect that temporal noise has on the Saffman-Taylor finger, leads to conclude that the effect of temporal noise and static noise are similar. The behavior of fluctuations of the finger width found in our experiments, is qualitatively similar to one recently reported, in the sense that, the magnitude of the width fluctuations decays as a power law of the capillary number, at low flow rates, and increases with capillary number for larger flow rates.
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