General mechanism for the meandering instability of rivulets of Newtonian fluids

A Daerr, Jens G Eggers, L Limat, N Valade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A rivulet flowing down an inclined plane often does not follow a straight path, but starts to meander spontaneously. Here we show that this instability is the result of two key ingredients: fluid inertia and anisotropy of the friction between rivulet and substrate. Meandering only occurs if the motion normal to the instantaneous flow direction is more difficult than parallel to it. We give a quantitative criterion for the onset of meandering and confirm it by comparing to the flow of a rivulet between two glass plates which are wetted completely. Above the threshold, the rivulet follows an irregular pattern with a typical wavelength of a few cm.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184501
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume106
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2011

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'General mechanism for the meandering instability of rivulets of Newtonian fluids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this