HAL will be down for maintenance from Friday, June 10 at 4pm through Monday, June 13 at 9am. More information
Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Fingering instability in buoyancy-driven fluid-filled cracks

Abstract : The stability of buoyancy-driven propagation of a fluid-filled crack through an elastic solid is studied using a combination of theory and experiments. For the theory, the lubrication approximation is introduced for fluid flow, and the surrounding solid is described by linear elasticity. Solutions are then constructed for a planar fluid front driven by either constant flux or constant volume propagating down a pre-cut conduit. As the thickness of the pre-cut conduit approaches zero, it is shown how these fronts converge to zero-toughness fracture solutions with a genuine crack tip. The linear stability of the planar solutions towards transverse, finger-like perturbations is then examined. Instabilities are detected that are analogous to those operating in the surface-tension-driven fingering of advancing fluid contact lines. Experiments are conducted using a block of gelatin for the solid and golden syrup for the fluid. Again, planar cracks initiated by emplacing the syrup above a shallow cut on the surface of the gelatin develop transverse, finger-like structures as they descend. Potential geological applications are discussed.
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [27 references]  Display  Hide  Download

Contributor : Théo Touvet Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 1:06:54 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 18, 2022 - 2:26:04 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, August 19, 2013 - 4:06:00 PM


Publisher files allowed on an open archive




Théo Touvet, Neil Balmforth, Richard Craster, Bruce Sutherland. Fingering instability in buoyancy-driven fluid-filled cracks. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2011, 672, pp 60-77. ⟨10.1017/S0022112010005860⟩. ⟨ensl-00822596⟩



Record views


Files downloads