Instabilities of dynamic thermocapillary liquid layers. Part 2. Surface-wave instabilities

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174 Scopus citations


A planar liquid layer is bounded below by a rigid plate and above by an interface with a passive gas. A steady shear flow is set up by imposing a temperature gradient along the layer and driving the motion by thermocapillarity. This dynamic state is susceptible to surface-wave instabilities that couple the interfacial deflection to the underlying shear flow. These instabilities are found to be directly related to the two-dimensional waves on an isothermal layer subject to wind shear as described by Miles and by Smith & Davis. Hence the surface-tension gradients are important only in that they drive the basic shear flow. The surface-wave stability characteristics for liquid layers with and without return-flow profiles are presented, and special attention is paid to long-wave instabilities. Comparisons are made with available experimental observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-162
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Jul 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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