Marangoni instability of two liquids mixing at a free surface

E. Tan*, Sigurdur Thoroddsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The impact of a water drop on a thin layer of glycerin leads to the formation of an intricate flower-like pattern. We show that these leaf-like forms are generated by a surface-tension instability at the air-liquid interface along which there exists variable concentration of glycerin and water. Spatial variations of surface tension drive intense vortices inside the water layer, which interact with the glycerin-water concentration at the surface. Horizontal bending of these vortices is reinforced by the resulting enhancement of the surface-tension gradients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3038-3040
Number of pages3
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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