Knut Jørgen Måløy: Pattern formation of frictional fingers in a gravitational potential

Abstract: A random, labyrinthine pattern emerges during slow drainage of a granular-fluid system in two- dimensional confinement. Compacted grains are pushed ahead of the fluid-air interface, which becomes unstable due to a competition between capillary forces and the frictional stress mobilized by grain-grain contact networks. We reproduce the pattern formation process in numerical simulations and present an analytical treatment that predicts the characteristic length scale of the labyrinth structure. The pattern length scale decreases with increasing volume fraction of grains in the system and increases with the system thickness. By tilting the model, aligned finger structures, with a characteristic width, emerge. A transition from vertical to horizontal alignment of the finger structures is observed as the tilting angle and the granular density are varied. The dynamics is reproduced in simulations. We also show how the system may explain patterns observed in nature, created during the early stages of a dike formation.

This talk is part of the Mechanics Lunch Seminar series. Bring-your-own-lunch and lots of questions. Hybrid format via Zoom possible on demand (contact timokoch at

Published Apr. 4, 2022 3:09 PM - Last modified Apr. 4, 2022 3:09 PM