Scaling Laws of Gravity Driven Fingering During Organic Liquid Infiltration

by Steven J. Wright, Univ of Michigan, Ann Arbor, United States,
Blake P. Tullis, Univ of Michigan, Ann Arbor, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering Hydrology


Wetting front instability can occur during vertical infiltration of a liquid into porous media, particularly when a fine soil layer is overlying a coarse layer. The result of this instability is the departure of the infiltrating fluid from a planar front as it breaks up into finger-like flow paths. Through the use of neutron radioscopy and computer reconstruction, three dimensional infiltration experiments with various liquids are being conducted in an attempt to evaluate the influences of fluid properties on finger formation. This data is being evaluated for the purpose of calibrating dimensionless relations for describing finger properties such as finger diameter and propagation velocity.

Subject Headings: Infiltration | Fluid flow | Three-dimensional flow | Fluid dynamics | Three-dimensional models | Soil properties | Porous media

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