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Reaction-induced Kelvin–Helmholtz instability in a layered channel flow

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 January 2023

Surya Narayan Maharana
Department of Mathematics, Indian Institute of Technology Ropar, 140001 Rupnagar, India
Kirti Chandra Sahu
Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, Kandi 502284, Sangareddy, Telangana, India
Manoranjan Mishra*
Department of Mathematics, Indian Institute of Technology Ropar, 140001 Rupnagar, India
Email address for correspondence:


We show that a vertical viscosity stratification at a localized region caused by a chemical reaction yields an inconspicuous shear layer. A chemo-hydrodynamic Kelvin–Helmholtz instability or cat-eye-shaped morphology develops at one reaction front, while the other front diffuses steadily over time. Through linear stability and nonlinear simulations, the existence of such instabilities is established if the log-mobility ratio exceeds a critical value. We find unique scalings between the stable and unstable zones that demonstrate how the influence of variations in solute diffusion on instability can be eliminated. The observed unstable patterns agree with existing experimental results.

JFM Papers
© The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press

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