Title

Wetting Front Instabilities: A three-dimensional Experimental Investigation

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Transport in Porous Media

Volume

70

Publication Date

2007

First Page

335

Last Page

353

Abstract

Wetting front instability or fingering experiments were conducted in three-dimensional infiltration columns, featuring stratified fine-over-coarse texture porous media, to investigate the influences of various soil and wetting phase properties on finger diameter and propagation velocity. The system parameter varied in this study included permeability, system flux rate, media size and gradation uniformity, initial moisture content, viscosity, density, and surface tension. The influence of each parameter is discussed and compared, where applicable, to the finding of previous studies. Finger diameter and velocity data were acquired using a neutron radioscopy based, real-time imaging system. Through the use of the imaging system, a very accurate and reliable experimental data set was produced for three-dimensional fingering events.

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