Fingering instability in a water-sand mixture
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The temporal evolution of a water-sand interface driven by gravity is experimentally investigated. By means of a Fourier analysis of the evolving interface the growth rates are determined for the different modes appearing in the developing front. To model the observed behavior we apply the idea of the Rayleigh-Taylor instability for two stratified fluids. Carrying out a linear stability analysis we calculate the growth rates from the corresponding dispersion relations for finite and infinite cell sizes. Based on the theoretical results the viscosity of the suspension is estimated to be approximately 100 times higher than that of pure water, in agreement with other experimental findings.
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