Patterns and flow in frictional fluid dynamics

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

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    115 Citations (Scopus)


    Pattern-forming processes in simple fluids and suspensions have been studied extensively, and the basic displacement structures, similar to viscous fingers and fractals in capillary dominated flows, have been identified. However, the fundamental displacement morphologies in frictional fluids and granular mixtures have not been mapped out. Here we consider Coulomb friction and compressibility in the fluid dynamics, and discover surprising responses including highly intermittent flow and a transition to quasi-continuodynamics. Moreover, by varying the injection rate over several orders of magnitude, we characterize new dynamic modes ranging from stick-slip bubbles at low rate to destabilized viscous fingers at high rate. We classify the fluid dynamics into frictional and viscous regimes, and present a unified description of emerging morphologies in granular mixtures in the form of extended phase diagrams.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number288
    Pages (from-to)1-8
    Number of pages8
    JournalNature Communications
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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