Buoyancy-driven instabilities of partially miscible fluids in inclined porous media

Hamid Emami-Meybodi, Fengyuan Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study presents a buoyancy-driven stability analysis in a three-dimensional inclined porous medium with a capillary transition zone that is formed between a non-wetting and an underlying wetting phase. In this two-phase, two-component, partially miscible system, a solute from a non-wetting phase diffuses into a porous layer saturated with a wetting-phase fluid, creating a dense diffusive boundary layer beneath an established capillary transition zone. Transient concentration and gravity-driven velocity fields are derived for the wetting phase while the saturation field remains fixed. Linear stability analysis with the quasi-steady-state approximation is employed to determine the onset of solutal convective instability for buoyancy-dominant, in-transition and capillary-dominant systems. The analysis of the problem leads to a differential eigenvalue problem composed of a system of three complex-valued equations that are numerically solved to determine the critical times, critical wavenumbers and neutral stability curves as a function of inclination angle for different Bond numbers. The layer inclination is shown to play an essential role in the stability of the problem, where the gravity-driven flow removes solute concentrations in the diffusive boundary layer. The results indicate that the horizontal porous layer exhibits the fastest onset of instability, and longitudinal rolls are always more unstable than oblique and transverse rolls. The inclination angle has a more substantial impact on stabilizing the diffusive boundary layer in the buoyancy-dominant than in the capillary-dominant systems. Furthermore, for both buoyancy-dominant and capillary-dominant systems, the critical times and wavenumbers vary exponentially with inclination angle ≤ 60° and follow the Stirling model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA32
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Nov 10 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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