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Journal of Porous Media

Impact factor: 1.035

ISSN Print: 1091-028X
ISSN Online: 1934-0508

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Journal of Porous Media

DOI: 10.1615/JPorMedia.v10.i1.20
pages 17-34

The Stability of a Developing Thermal Front in a Porous Medium. II Nonlinear Evolution

Asma Selim
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK
Andrew Rees
University of Bath


We consider the instability of the unsteady thermal boundary that is caused by suddenly raising the temperature of the lower boundary of an otherwise cold saturated porous medium. In particular, we focus attention on strongly nonlinear two-dimensional convection. A comprehensive set of results is presented which shows the effects of varying the amplitude of the disturbance, its wave number, and the time at which the disturbance is introduced into the developing thermal boundary layer. We indicate, in detail, how the evolution of the instabilities with time is affected by nonlinearity and how the characteristics of that evolution are changed from those that arise in linearized theory. We also determine when linearized theory is inadequate to describe the global features of the evolution, such as the re stabilisation of convection.