Labyrinth patterns in confined granular-fluid systems

B. Sandnes*, H. A. Knudsen, K. J. Måløy, E. G. Flekkøy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Citations (Scopus)


A random, labyrinthine pattern emerges during slow drainage of a granular-fluid system in two-dimensional confinement. Compacted grains are pushed ahead of the fluid-air interface, which becomes unstable due to a competition between capillary forces and the frictional stress mobilized by grain-grain contact networks. We reproduce the pattern formation process in numerical simulations and present an analytical treatment that predicts the characteristic length scale of the labyrinth structure. The pattern length scale decreases with increasing volume fraction of grains in the system and increases with the system thickness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number038001
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2007

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Labyrinth patterns in confined granular-fluid systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Sandnes, B., Knudsen, H. A., Måløy, K. J., & Flekkøy, E. G. (2007). Labyrinth patterns in confined granular-fluid systems. Physical Review Letters, 99(3), [038001].