Transp Porous Med (2010) 84:821–844

DOI 10.1007/s11242-010-9555-2
Miscible Thermo-Viscous Fingering Instability in Porous
Media. Part 1: Linear Stability Analysis
M. N. Islam · J. Azaiez
Received: 14 April 2009 / Accepted: 17 February 2010 / Published online: 9 March 2010
© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010
Abstract The development of the thermo-viscous fingering instability of miscible
displacements in homogeneous porous media is examined. In this first part of the study
dealing with stability analysis, the basic equations and the parameters governing the problem
in a rectilinear geometry are developed. An exponential dependence of viscosity on temper-
ature and concentration is represented by two parameters, thermal mobility ratio β
T
and a
solutal mobility ratio β
C
, respectively. Other parameters involved are the Lewis number Le
and a thermal-lag coefficient λ. The governing equations are linearized and solved to obtain
instability characteristics using either a quasi-steady-state approximation (QSSA) or initial
value calculations (IVC). Exact analytical solutions are also obtained for very weakly diffus-
ing systems. Using the QSSAapproach, it was found that an increase in thermal mobility ratio
β
T
is seen to enhance the instability for fixed β
C
, Le and λ. For fixed β
C
and β
T
, a decrease
in the thermal-lag coefficient and/or an increase in the Lewis number always decrease the
instability. Moreover, strong thermal diffusion at large Le as well as enhanced redistribution
of heat between the solid and fluid phases at small λ is seen to alleviate the destabilizing
effects of positive β
T
. Consequently, the instability gets strictly dominated by the solutal
front. The linear stability analysis using IVC approach leads to conclusions similar to the
QSSA approach except for the case of large Le and unity λ flow where the instability is seen
to get even less pronounced than in the case of a reference isothermal flow of the same β
C
,
but β
T
= 0. At practically, small value of λ, however, the instability ultimately approaches
that due to β
C
only.
Keywords Thermo-viscous fingering · Linear stability analysis · QSS approach ·
IVC approach · Porous media
M. N. Islam · J. Azaiez (B)
Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
e-mail: azaiez@ucalgary.ca
Present Address:
M. N. Islam
Conventional Oil and Natural Gas Business Unit, Alberta Innovates–Technical Future,
Calgary, AB, Canada
1 3
822 M. N. Islam, J. Azaiez
List of Symbols
a Function of wavenumber, solutal viscosity ratio, and quasi-static growth rate
A
i
, B
i
, C
i
Coefficients to be determined in initial growth rate calculation using QSSA
b Function of wavenumber, thermal viscosity ratio, and m
i
—function of
thermal-lag coefficient
C Concentration (kg/m
3
)
c Dimensionless concentration
cas Cosine plus Sine of an angle
cos Cosine of an angle
Cp Heat capacity (kJ/kg

C)
d Infinitesimal increment in value of a variable
D Diffusion coefficient (m
2
/s); total derivative operator
dt Infinitesimal increment in time
EOR Enhanced oil recovery
e Gap between two plates in a Hele-Shaw cell (m)
erfc Complimentary error function
exp Exponential function
f Arbitrary function
g(x, t ) Arbitrary function in x and t
h Function of quasi-static growth rate, Lewis number, and wavenumber
H Heaviside step function operator
H Hartley transform operator
I Identity matrix
IVC Initial Value Calculation
k Dimensionless wavenumber in y direction
K Permeability of the medium (Darcy, m
2
)
k
x
, k
y
Discrete wavenumbers in x and y direction, respectively
l Function of quasi-static growth rate and wavenumber
log Logarithm function
L Length of the Hele–Shaw cell (m)
Le Lewis number (dimensionless)
m Fraction of cold fluid left on the wall; function of thermal-lag coefficient,
Lewis number, h, and sign indicator
N
x
, N
y
Number of spectral modes in x and y direction, respectively
p Pressure (Pa)
Pe Peclet number (dimensionless)
QSSA Quasi-Steady-State Approximation
rand Random number between −1 and +1
s Sign indicator: s
1
= +1(i.e.x < 0) and s
2
= −1(i.e., x > 0)
SAGD Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage
sin Sine of an angle
t Time (s, dimensionless after scaling)
T Temperature (

C)
U Average velocity (m/s, dimensionless after scaling)
v Velocity vector (m/s, dimensionless after scaling)
u, v Velocity components in x and y direction, respectively
(m/s, dimensionless after scaling)
W Width of the Hele–Shaw cell (m)
1 3
Miscible Thermo-Viscous Fingering Instability 823
x x-Direction in rectangular coordinates
y y-Direction in rectangular coordinates
z z-Direction in rectangular coordinates
Greek Symbols
α Viscosity ratio
β Natural logarithm of the viscosity ratio; function of thermal-lag coefficient and
Lewis number
∂ Partial derivative operator
δ Dirac Delta function operator, small distance (m); magnitude of the dimensionless
disturbance
φ Porosity
γ Quasi-static growth rate; algebraic growth rate (dimensionless)
Coefficients of quadratic equation in k
η IVC growth rate (dimensionless)
Λ Function of wavenumber, solutal viscosity ratio and l
λ Thermal-lag coefficient; ratio of the finger width to the channel width; average
wavelength
µ Viscosity of the fluid (Pa.s, dimensionless after scaling)
π π = 3.14159. . .
θ Dimensionless temperature
ϑ Temperature perturbation eigenfunction
ρ Density of the fluid (kg/m
3
)
χ Concentration perturbation eigenfunction
ψ Velocity perturbation eigenfunction
Small increment; function of wavenumber and thermal viscosity ratio
Function of l, k and β
C
Function of many variables in initial growth rate calculation
∞ Infinity

Square root
* Multiplication indicator
· Scalar product operator
L2 norm
∇ Gradient operator

2
Laplacian operator
Superscripts
− Base state solution; average value, L2 norm

Scaled variable in moving reference

Perturbation
+, −
Positive and negative direction along x axis, respectively
Subscripts
0,o
Initial time for IVC and time at which base state is considered to be frozen in
QSSA, respectively
1, 2
Displacing fluid and displaced fluid, respectively
C1 and C2
Indicator for critical β values
1 3
824 M. N. Islam, J. Azaiez
C, T
Concentration and temperature, respectively
cutoff
To denote cutoff wavenumber
eff
Effective
i Counter used for sign indicator (1 for x < 0 and 2 for x > 0)
I, II
Displacing phase and displaced phase, respectively
mean
Mean
max
Maximum
s, f
Solid and fluid, respectively
tip
Tip of the finger
x
x direction
ϑ Temperature perturbation eigenfunction
χ
Concentration perturbation eigenfunction
ψ
Streamfunction; velocity perturbation eigenfunction
1 Introduction
Flow displacements in porous media can result in the development of an interfacial insta-
bility between the two fluids involved in the displacement process. This instability, known
as the Saffman–Taylor instability (Saffman and Taylor 1958; Chuoke et al. 1959), manifests
itself in the form of finger-shaped intrusions of the displacing fluid into the displaced one
and can have a dramatic impact on the displacement process (Bensimon et al. 1986). When
the driving factor behind the instability is the viscous mismatch between the two fluids, the
instability is referred to as the viscous fingering instability.
The viscous fingering instability is observed in a variety of processes including second-
ary and tertiary oil recovery, fixed bed regeneration in chemical processing, hydrology, soil
remediation, and filtration. In most applications, viscous fingering is undesirable as it results
in reduced sweep efficiency of the displacement process. Any process aimed toward the
elimination of the instabilities or the control of the growth rate of the viscous fingers is of
high technological importance.
The majority of existing studies have focused on isothermal displacements where both flu-
ids are at the same temperature. Extensive reviews of theoretical, experimental, and numerical
simulation studies can be found in the study of Homsy (1987), McCloud and Maher (1995),
and Islam and Azaiez (2005).
Viscosity, which is the main physical property behind the instability, may vary as a result
of a change in the flow temperature. The resulting instability is usually referred to as thermo-
viscous fingering which may be observed under two conditions. In the first one, a fluid flows
through a medium (porous medium or slot) having a temperature different than that of the
fluid. Such instability may be observed in magma flowin fissure eruptions, geo-thermal flows
as well as flow of polymer melts in injection molding. In the second one, the two fluids are at
two different temperatures resulting in two traveling fronts, a fluid front and a thermal front
along which the instability may be observed. Such flows are encountered in many thermal
enhanced oil recovery (EOR) processes such as hot water flooding, steam flooding, Steam-
Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), and hot solvent injection, as well as in some polymer
processing systems. The focus of the present study is on the latter type of thermo-viscous
fingering.
The thermo-viscous fingering instability has not received as much attention as its isother-
mal counterpart and only a very limited number of studies can be found in the literature.
1 3
Miscible Thermo-Viscous Fingering Instability 825
Kong et al. (1992) conducted one of the first studies on this topic. These authors visualized
steamdisplacement of heavy oils in vertical and horizontal rectilinear Hele–Shawcells. Even
though the study suffered fromdifficulties in heat transfer control and operational problems at
high temperatures and pressure, it allowed the authors to reach many important conclusions.
In particular, they reported that steam tended to condense in contact with the cold resident
oil. A trailing residual oil film was left coating the glass plates of the Hele–Shaw cell behind
the water–oil front. The authors also compared isothermal water–oil and non-isothermal
steam–oil displacements and reported major structural differences.
In a similar study, Sasaki et al. (2002) examined the microscopic phenomena and drainage
mechanisms at the steam chamber interface during the initial stage of a SAGD process. The
authors found that the stable vertical boundary between the steam and oil phases moved
side-ways with time. Fine droplets produced at the interface due to condensation, moved into
the oil creating water–oil emulsion. The authors also suggested that the fine water droplets
accelerated heat transfer from the interface to the oil phase by releasing heat as they pene-
trated the oil. Such dynamic interactions may have accelerated heat transfer and improved
the oil production by decreasing the oil viscosity.
In a more relevant study, Kuang and Maxworthy (2003) analyzed displacements in cylin-
drical capillary tubes of a high-viscosity fluid at low temperature by the same fluid at a
higher temperature and lower viscosity. A parameter m = 1 − U
mean
/U
tip
where U
mean
represents the mean velocity and U
tip
is the tip velocity, was used to represent the fraction
of cold fluid left on the walls of the tube after passage of the advancing front. Three dif-
ferent flow regimes were identified: a diffusion dominated for Pe < 1, 000 with m = 0.5;
a viscously dominated for Pe > 3, 000 with m averaging a value of 0.62 and a transition
regime for 1000 < Pe < 3000 in which both diffusion and viscous effects are important.
In a subsequent study, Holloway and de Bruyn (2005) examined flow displacements of cold
glycerin with hot glycerin in a radial Hele-Shaw cell and analyzed the effects of the cell gap
on the instability.
In terms of mathematical or numerical modeling of the thermo-viscous fingering instabil-
ity, one is forced to recognize that there is a real dearth of studies. The first serious numerical
study attempting to examine this instability was conducted by Saghir et al. (2000). These
authors considered nonlinear double-diffusive convection in a vertically mounted homoge-
neous porous medium, and used the finite element technique to solve the flow equations.
Isothermal, non-isothermal, and microgravity displacements were considered. Variations of
the distance traveled by the base and the tip with time were presented for each case, how-
ever only minor differences were observed between the isothermal and non-isothermal cases.
Comparisons with microgravity tests intended to eliminate the effects of buoyancy did not
reveal major differences either. It should finally be mentioned that aside from the distance
traveled by the base and the tip, the authors did not show any other quantitative or qualitative
characterizations of the instability.
A subsequent numerical simulation study by Sheorey et al. (2001) analyzed both iso-
thermal and non-isothermal immiscible displacements in rectangular porous formation. The
authors reported that the numerical solutions experienced growth of errors during long time
integration, particularly in large regions. Still, from the laterally averaged saturation profiles,
the authors reported that in non-isothermal displacements the saturation profiles are front
dominated and correlate well with the temperature profiles. Although the study of Sheorey
et al. (2001) involved immiscible displacements, the stabilizing effect of thermal transfer was
found to be similar to that reported by Saghir et al. (2000). Finally, Holloway and de Bruyn
(2005) compared experimental results of thermal displacements in a radial Hele-Shaw cell
with numerical simulations using FLUENT

.
1 3
826 M. N. Islam, J. Azaiez
Only one relevant linear stability analysis study was found in the literature. In this study,
Pritchard (2004) analyzed the stability of non-isothermal miscible displacements in a porous
medium of radial geometry. The author focused on the stability of the fluid and thermal trav-
eling fronts and since viscosity may change across each front, viscous fingering instability
may arise on either front. The major conclusion of this study was that to determine the flow
instability, the viscosity changes associated with thermal and composition differences must
be considered separately: in general, if either change promotes fingering, then instability is
likely to develop, although its rate of growth may be modified significantly by the coupling
between the two mechanisms.
From the above studies, it is clear that the viscous fingering instability for non-isothermal
displacements has not received as much attention as its counterpart for isothermal flows.
It is in fact surprising that except of the stability analysis of Pritchard (2004) for a radial
geometry, there are no other studies that have attempted to explain the inherent mechanisms
of the instability or to characterize the nonlinear evolution of the finger structures when both
heat and mass transfer are involved. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study
that attempts to address these issues in the case of rectilinear flow geometry. The rectilinear
geometry is different from the radial one, in that the latter involves a point source injection
and contact interface that expands as the flow evolves, while the former has a fixed initial
interface defined by the cell width. Therefore, the developments of the flows in the early
stages are different in the two geometries. This justifies the first part of this study dealing
with the linear stability analysis. The second part will focus on the nonlinear development of
the flow. Finally, it should be noted that even though most of the practical applications cited
above deal with immiscible flows, the present study focuses on the miscible case.
This part is organized as follows: right after this introductory section a mathematical
model along with the physical problem will be presented. Linearization of the model equa-
tions will then be given with the appropriate formulations concerning the Quasi-Steady-State
Approximation (QSSA) and Initial Value Calculation (IVC) approaches. In the results sec-
tion, theoretical estimation of the initial growth rate will be shown first, which will then be
followed by numerical results. Finally, some conclusions will be drawn from this study and
will be linked to the nonlinear simulation results to be presented in the next part.
2 Mathematical Model
2.1 Physical Problem
A two-dimensional miscible displacement in a horizontal rectilinear homogeneous medium
of constant porosity φ and permeability K is considered. A fluid of viscosity µ
1
and uniform
temperature T
1
is injected with a uniform velocity U to displace a second one of viscosity
µ
2
and uniform temperature T
2
. Here, the direction of the flow is along the x-axis and the
y-axis is parallel to the initial plane of the interface (Fig. 1). The length, width, and thickness
of the medium are L, W, and e, respectively.
2.2 Governing Equations
The flow is governed by the equations for the conservation of mass, the conservation of
momentum in the form of Darcy’s law, and the volume-averaged mass and energy balance
equations.
1 3
Miscible Thermo-Viscous Fingering Instability 827
L
e
W
1 1
,T µ
2 2
,T µ
y
x
z
Average velocity U
Fig. 1 Schematic of rectilinear Hele-Shaw cell/two-dimensional porous medium
∇ · v = 0 (1)
∇p = −
µ
K
v (2)
∂C
1
∂t
+
1
φ
(v · ∇)C
1
= D
c

2
C
1
(3)
∂T
∂t
+
λ
φ
(v · ∇)T = D
T

2
T. (4)
In the above equations, v = (u, v) is the velocity vector with u and v representing the x and
y components, respectively, while ∇ and ∇
2
stand for the gradient and Laplacian operators
in the (x,y) plane. The other variables are the pressure p, the viscosity µ, the permeability K,
the porosity φ, the concentration of the solvent (displacing fluid) C
1
, and the temperature of
the solid–fluid system, which is assumed to be in local thermal equilibrium, T. The effective
mass and thermal dispersion coefficients are referred to by D
C
and D
T
, respectively. The
above equations model the propagation of two fronts, one associated with temperature and
will be referred to as the thermal front, while the other corresponds to mass transport and
will be called the solutal front. The parameter λ that shall be referred to as the thermal-lag
coefficient, represents the ratio of the speed of the thermal front to that of the solutal front
(Pritchard 2004):
λ =
φρ
f
Cp
f
φρ
f
Cp
f
+(1 −φ)ρ
s
Cp
s
. (5)
In the above equations, ρ
s
, Cp
s
, ρ
f
, and Cp
f
are the density and heat capacity of the solid
phase, and the density and heat capacity of the fluid phase, respectively. Throughout this
study, changes in the fluid density and heat capacity will be assumed to be sufficiently small
such that λ can be considered constant.
The flow model offers two characteristic velocities, U/φ and λU/φ associated with the
mass and temperature transport, respectively. The former will be used as the characteristic
1 3
828 M. N. Islam, J. Azaiez
velocity in the present study. This choice has been dictated by the fact that U/φ usually
referred to as interstitial velocity, is the most commonly used velocity to characterize such
flows. Furthermore, this choice will allow for easy comparison with numerous previous
studies that have focused on the isothermal case. Finally, in the case of a double solutal and
thermal fronts, the former will be less diffuse than the latter and is expected to contribute
more to the overall instability of the system.
The model equations are expressed in a Lagrangian reference frame moving at the velocity
U/φ (Tan and Homsy 1986; Manickam and Homsy 1995; Azaiez and Singh 2002). Further-
more, the equations are made dimensionless using D
C
φ/U, D
C
φ
2
/U
2
, and U/φ as the
characteristic length, time, and velocity. The constant permeability K is incorporated in the
expression of the viscosity by treating µ/K as µ, and ratios of µ shall be referred to as either
viscosity or mobility ratios. The viscosity and pressure are scaled with µ
1
and µ
1
D
C
φ,
respectively, and the concentration with that of the displacing fluid C
1
. Finally, defining
the dimensionless temperature as θ

= (T − T
2
)/(T
1
− T
2
), the following dimensionless
equations are obtained:
∂u

∂x

+
∂v∗
∂y

= 0 (6)
∂p

∂x

= −µ

(u

+1),
∂p

∂y

= −µ

v

(7)
∂c

∂t

+u

∂c

∂x

+v

∂c

∂y

=
_

2
c

∂x
∗2
+

2
c

∂y
∗2
_
(8)
∂θ

∂t

+(λ −1)
∂θ

∂x


_
u

∂θ

∂x

+v

∂θ

∂y

_
= Le
_

2
θ

∂x
∗2
+

2
θ

∂y
∗2
_
(9)
Here, Le is the Lewis number, Le = D
T
/D
C
= Pe
C
/Pe
T
where Pe
C
and Pe
T
are the
solutal and thermal Peclet numbers. For convenience, in all that follows, the asterisks will
be dropped from all dimensionless variables. In order to complete the model, a form for the
dependence of the viscosity on concentration and temperature must be specified. Following
Tan and Homsy (1986) and Pritchard (2004), exponential dependence is adopted:
µ(c, θ) = exp (β
c
(1 −c) +β
T
(1 −θ)) . (10)
In an isothermal miscible displacement, β
C
corresponds to the natural logarithm of the vis-
cosity ratio (µ
2

1
), while in a thermal displacement involving a single fluid β
T
represents
the natural logarithm of the ratio of the viscosity (µ
T2

T1
) at two different temperatures,
and will be referred to as the thermal mobility ratio.
3 Linearized Equations
3.1 Perturbation Equations
The system of Eqs. 6–9 admits the following base state solutions:
¯ u(x, t ) = ¯ v(x, t ) = 0, ¯ c(x, t ) =
1
2
erfc
_
x
2

t
_
,
¯
θ(x, t ) =
1
2
erfc
_
x −(λ −1)t
2

Let
_
(11)
¯ µ(x, t ) = exp
_
β
c
(1 − ¯ c) +β
T
(1 −
¯
θ)
_
, ¯ p(x, t ) = −
x
_
¯ µ(x

, t )dx

. (12)
1 3
Miscible Thermo-Viscous Fingering Instability 829
In order to conduct a linear stability analysis of the problem, small disturbances noted with
a prime are added to the flow at the base state. The linearized equations in terms of the
perturbations are:
∂u

∂x
+
∂v

∂y
= 0 (13)
∂p

∂x
= −µ

− ¯ µu

,
∂p

∂y
= −¯ µv

(14)
∂c
∂t
+u
∂ ¯ c
∂x
=

2
c
∂x
2
+

2
c
∂y
2
(15)
∂θ

∂t
+(λ −1)
∂θ

∂x
+λu


¯
θ
∂x
= Le
_

2
θ

∂x
2
+

2
θ

∂y
2
_
, (16)
where µ

= c

∂ ¯ µ
∂ ¯ c

∂ ¯ µ

¯
θ
. The linearized equations can be expressed in terms of c

, θ

and u

only. For this purpose, the pressure is eliminated by taking the curl of Darcy’s law (Eq. 14):
¯ µ
_
∂v

∂x

∂u

∂y
_

∂µ

∂y
+v

∂ ¯ µ
∂x
= 0. (17)
The transverse component of the velocity v

is eliminated by taking the derivative of Eq. 17
with respect to y, and using Eq. 13:
_

2
u

∂x
2
+

2
u

∂y
2
_
+
1
¯ µ
∂ ¯ µ
∂x
∂u

∂x
+
1
¯ µ

2
µ

∂y
2
= 0. (18)
Equations 15, 16, and 18 will then be used in the ensuing linear stability analysis. Since the
base state depends only on the x-coordinate and time, it is possible to use a normal mode anal-
ysis of the perturbations where the disturbances are expanded in terms of Fourier components
in y:
(u

, c

, θ

) (x, y, t ) = (ψ, χ, ϑ) (x, t ) e
i ky
(19)
where k is the wavenumber of disturbances in the y direction. Substituting the above expres-
sions for the perturbations in Eqs. 15, 16, and 18, along with the use of Eq. 10 one gets:
_

∂t


2
∂x
2
+k
2
_
χ = −
∂ ¯ c
∂x
ψ (20)
_

∂t
+(λ −1)

∂x
− Le

2
∂x
2
+ Le k
2
_
ϑ = −λ

¯
θ
∂x
ψ (21)
_

2
∂x
2
−k
2

_
β
C
∂ ¯ c
∂x

T

¯
θ
∂x
_

∂x
_
ψ = −k
2

C
χ +β
T
ϑ) (22)

1
¯ µ
∂ ¯ µ
∂x
= β
C
∂ ¯ c
∂x

T

¯
θ
∂x
. (23)
Since the base state solutions depend on both time and the spatial component x, it is not
possible a priori to further simplify the above system of partial differential equations. One
approach that has been used extensively for isothermal flows is based on the so-called QSSA
(Tan and Homsy 1986; Rogerson and Meiburg 1993; Manickam and Homsy 1995; Azaiez
and Singh 2002). This approximation is based on the assumption that the growth rate of
perturbations is asymptotically faster than the rate of change of the background state. As
such, one should be able to determine the most dangerous wavelengths at any point in time
1 3
830 M. N. Islam, J. Azaiez
at which the base state was “frozen”. As one may have expected, the use of such an approxi-
mation raises questions regarding its limitations and conditions of applicability. This has led
to a number of studies that attempted to solve the initial partial differential equations using
a number of techniques including direct solutions using pseudo-spectral methods (Tan and
Homsy 1986) and the projection of the disturbances into a suitable space of eigenfunctions
(Ben et al. 2002; Pritchard 2004). The solution of the original set of partial differential equa-
tions will be referred to as IVC. In this study, we will use both the QSSAand IVCapproaches
to analyze the flow instability. Since both approaches have advantages and disadvantages,
the analysis and comparison of the results of both methods should allow one to determine the
extent of applicability of QSSA for studying the instability in double diffusive–convective
thermo-viscous flows.
3.2 Step-Profile Approximation
The limiting case of very short time such that on the timescale considered, diffusion has no
effects on the flow which effectively behaves as immiscible (Rakotomalala et al. 1997), is
considered first. Under such limiting case, both thermal and solutal fronts are represented by
a step-profile; c(x) = θ(x) = 1 −H(x), where H(x) represents the Heaviside step function
(Tan and Homsy 1986; Yortsos and Zeybek 1988). In this case, an exponential growth in time
for the perturbations is assumed:
(ψ, χ, ϑ)(x, t ) = (ψ, χ, ϑ)(x) exp[γ t ]. (24)
With such formulation, the following equations are obtained:
[D
2
−l
2
]χ = −δψ (25)
[LeD
2
+(1 −λ)D −h
2
]ϑ = −λδψ (26)
_
1
µ
D(µD) −k
2
_
ψ = −k
2

C
χ +β
T
ϑ) (27)
In the above equation, h
2
= γ + Le k
2
, l
2
= γ + k
2
, D = d/dx, and δ(x) stands for
Dirac Delta function. Solutions that decay far from the fronts are sought in the form:
χ(x) = A
1
· exp(s
1
l x) x < 0
χ(x) = A
2
· exp(s
2
l x) x > 0
(28)
ϑ(x) = B
1
· exp(m
1
x) x < 0
ϑ(x) = B
2
· exp(m
2
x) x > 0
(29)
ψ(x) = aA
1
· exp(s
1
l x) +b
1
B
1
· exp(m
1
x) +C
1
· exp(s
1
kx) x < 0
ψ(x) = aA
2
· exp(s
2
l x) +b
2
B
2
· exp(m
2
x) +C
2
· exp(s
2
kx) x > 0.
(30)
The solutions are valid for x = 0 with s
1
= +1 for x < 0 and s
2
= −1 for x > 0.
The remaining parameters are defined as:
m
1
=
(λ −1) +
_
(λ −1)
2
+4Leh
2
2Le
; m
2
=
(λ −1) −
_
(λ −1)
2
+4Leh
2
2Le
(31)
a = −
k
2
β
C
γ
(32)
b
1
= −
k
2
β
T
m
2
1
−k
2
; b
2
= −
k
2
β
T
m
2
2
−k
2
. (33)
1 3
Miscible Thermo-Viscous Fingering Instability 831
The unknown constants A
i
, B
i
, and C
i
are determined using the following conditions:
χ(0
+
) = χ(0

) (34)
ϑ(0
+
) = ϑ(0

) (35)
ψ(0
+
) = ψ(0

) (36)
Dχ(0
+
) − Dχ(0

) = −ψ(0) (37)
Le(Dϑ(0
+
) − Dϑ(0

)) = −λψ(0) (38)
αDψ(0
+
) = Dψ(0

), (39)
where α = exp(β
C

T
). The above equations are obtained by requiring the perturbations
to be continuous at 0 and by integrating Eqs. 25–27 between 0

and 0
+
. Equations 34–39
lead to a homogenous system of equations for the six unknowns A
1
, B
1
, C
1
, A
2
, B
2
, and C
2
.
For non-trivial solutions, the determinant of the corresponding matrix must be zero, which
after some algebra leads to (see Appendix):

3
m
3
1
+
2
m
2
1
+
1
m
1
+
0
= 0 (40)

3
= 2(1 +α)Le (41)

2
= (1 +α)Le(4k −3β) (42)

1
= (1 +α)[Le(2k
2

2
−4kβ) −2kl(1 + Leβ)β
T
] (43)

0
= (1 +α)[Leβk(β −k) −2k
2
l(1 + Leβ)β
T
]
+2kl(1 + Leβ)ββ
T
, (44)
where = 2l −kβ
C
/(l +k), while β = (λ −1)/Le is always negative. It is worth stressing
here that the above equation is not a cubic equation since the coefficients
i
depend on m
1
through l:
m
1
(β −m
1
) =
(1 − Le)k
2
−l
2
Le
(45)
Equation 45 is obtained by taking the product m
1
· m
2
= m
1
(β − m
1
) using Eq. 31 and
simplifying the result using the relationship h
2
− l
2
= (Le − 1)k
2
. Equation 45 and the
definition of l
2
will be used to find the growth rate γ once m
1
is determined.
3.3 Formulation Based on QSSA
In QSSA, one assumes that the small perturbations change in time much faster than the base
state, allowing treatment of the base state as if it were steady by freezing it at a time t
o
. When
QSSA is applied, the perturbation functions of Eqs. 19 are defined as:
(ψ, χ, ϑ)(x, t ) = (ψ, χ, ϑ)(x, t
o
) exp[γ (t
o
)t ], (46)
where γ (t
0
) is the quasi-static growth rate. Here, it has been assumed that the disturbances
grow exponentially with time. Substituting the above expression in Eqs. 20–22, and simpli-
fying transforms the system of partial differential equations into a corresponding system of
ordinary differential equations:
1 3
832 M. N. Islam, J. Azaiez
_
γ (t
o
) −
d
2
dx
2
+k
2
_
χ = −
d¯ c
dx
(x, t
o
)ψ (47)
_
γ (t
o
) − Le
d
2
dx
2
+(λ −1)
d
dx
+ Lek
2
_
ϑ = −λ
d
¯
θ
dx
(x, t
o
)ψ (48)
_
d
2
dx
2
−k
2

_
β
C
d¯ c
dx
(x, t
o
) +β
T
d
¯
θ
dx
(x, t
o
)
_
d
dx
_
ψ = −k
2

C
χ +β
T
ϑ).
(49)
The above systemof equations represents an eigenvalue differential problemwith the bound-
ary conditions (ψ, χ, ϑ) → (0, 0, 0) as x → ±∞. The quasi-static growth rate represented
by the eigenvalue γ (t
0
) is a function of the parameter t
0
, and depends on the values of the
wavenumber k, the two viscosity parameters β
C
and β
T
, the thermal-lag coefficient λ and
the Lewis number Le. Thus, through finite difference discretization of Eqs. 47–49 one can
obtain the eigenvalue at any time t
0
. A non-uniform geometric grid is used which is very
fine near the origin where the concentration and temperature gradients are large, and spacing
increases geometrically with the distance from the origin. All three eigenfunctions (ψ, χ, ϑ)
are discretized using this technique, and the computation domain is chosen wide enough to
capture all the eigen-solutions. Finite difference discretization of the above equations results
in the forms:
(A −γ I)χ = Cψ (50)
(B −γ I)ϑ = Tψ (51)
Kψ = Lχ +Mϑ, (52)
where A, B, and K are the tri-diagonal matrices, C, T, L, and M are diagonal matrices and
I is the identity matrix. The above set of equations is rearranged to obtain the appropriate
eigenvalue problem:
_
A −CK
−1
L −CK
−1
M
−TK
−1
L B −TK
−1
M
_ _
χ
ϑ
_
= γ
_
χ
ϑ
_
(53)
3.4 Formulation Based on IVC
This approach consists in solving the initial partial differential equations without invoking
the QSSA and determining the growth rate from the solution (Tan and Homsy 1986). Thus,
the set of coupled partial differential Eqs. 20–22 are solved directly and the growth rates of
individual perturbations are determined using the following expression:
η
f
=
1
t
log
_
f
t +t
f
t
_
, (54)
where f may represent ψ, χ, or ϑ. Determination of the growth rates of the perturbations using
the initial value calculation introduced an additional feature—it recognized the difference
of the growth rates for velocity, concentration, and temperature perturbations. The partial
differential equations are solved with decaying boundary conditions and the following initial
conditions:
χ(x, t
o
) = δ ∗ rand(x) (55)
ϑ(x, t
o
) = δ ∗ rand(x) (56)
1 3
Miscible Thermo-Viscous Fingering Instability 833
The perturbation terms (Eqs. 55 and 56) consist of a random noise obtained from a random
number generator between −1 and 1, and a parameter δ that determines the amplitude of
the perturbation. In order to capture the growth dynamics of the perturbations at very early
time, t
0
is set to 10
−24
and perturbations of very small amplitude are introduced by setting
δ = 10
−8
.
Since the perturbations are required to decay far from the interface, periodic boundary
conditions can be used. Such conditions allow using the highly accurate spectral methods. In
this study, the Hartley transformbased pseudo-spectral method (Canuto et al. 1987; Bracewell
2000) is used. With this transform the flow variables are expanded in the one-dimensional
Hartley series, which for an arbitrary function g(x, t) has the form:
H[g(x, t )] =
1

N
x
N
x

i =1
g(x
i
, t )cas(k
x
x
i
) (57)
where x
i
=
2πi
N
x
, cas(u) = cos(u) + sin(u), k
x
is the discrete wavenumber, and N
x
is the
number of spectral modes in the x direction. The most prominent feature of using such trans-
formation is that it allows recasting the partial differential equations in space and time for
the concentration and temperature into ordinary differential equations in time with algebraic
constraints. The implementation of the numerical method is similar to the work of and Singh
and Azaiez (2001) which the readers are referred to for details.
Once the partial differential equations are integrated up to a certain time t for a particular
wavenumber k, the growth rates η
ψ
, η
χ
and η
ϑ
are calculated using Eq. 54. The largest of
the growth rates η
ψ
, , η
χ
, and η
ϑ
is chosen to represent the growth rate of the instability.
Repeating the calculations for varying k allows one to obtain a full instability characteristics
curve. All simulations were run up to a time t = 10 around which the growth rates of the
perturbations were found to reach a plateau.
4 Results
In linear stability analysis, the model equations describing a dynamic system are first linear-
ized and then solved to determine the growth rates of the associated wavenumbers—defining
the perturbations introduced into the system. This way, it is possible to set criteria based
on which the stability of a dynamic system can be determined and possibly explained. In
what follows, determination of the initial growth rates for unstable wavenumbers will be
discussed first. Later, results of numerical solutions of the eigenvalue problem as well as
IVC formulation will be presented.
4.1 Analytical Solution for Step Base State Profiles
Before discussing the results, the case of an isothermal flow (β
T
= 0) is examined first.
In this special case, Eq. 40 reduces to:
(1 +α)Le(m
1
+k)(m
1
−β +k)(2m
1
−β) = 0. (58)
The solution of the above equation is obtained by requiring = 0, which leads to the expres-
sion of growth rate obtained by Tan and Homsy (1986), which from now on, will be referred
to as TH86. The case of a pure thermal flow displacement will be now examined.
1 3
834 M. N. Islam, J. Azaiez
4.1.1 Flow displacement with a single thermal front
The special case of a thermal flow (β
C
= 0, Le = 1) involving the same fluid, but at two
different temperatures is considered here. The condition Le = 1 is simply implying that, in
this case, the thermal diffusivity is used instead of the mass diffusivity in the scaling of the
original equations. In this case, Eq. 40 reduces to:
2m
3
1
+(4k −3β)m
2
1
+[2k
2

2
−4kβ −k(1 +β)β
T
]m
1
+kβ(β −k) −k
2
(1 +β)β
T
+
k(1 +β)ββ
T
1 +α
= 0. (59)
The above equation, expressed in a reference frame moving with the superficial velocity is
different from that for an isothermal flow. It is, however, easy to see that expected results
for an isothermal flow with β
T
replacing β
C
are readily obtained when a reference frame
moving at the thermal front velocity is used (β = 0). Equation 59 where the thermal front
lags behind the perturbation (β = 0) will be now examined.
4.1.1.1 Long Wave Expansion and Cut-Off Wavenumbers A long wave expansion of m
1
using Eq. 59 leads to:
m
1
= −[1 +
(1 +β)
β
β
T
1 +α
]k +o(k) (60)
γ = β[1 +
(1 +β)
β
β
T
1 +α
]k +o(k). (61)
The above expression indicates that for any logarithmic thermal mobility ratio β
T
, there
is a critical lag coefficient β
C1
=
−β
T
1+β
T
+e
β
T
, such that the flow is unstable to long wave
disturbances only if β > β
C1
. Furthermore, since f (β
T
) =
β
T
1+e
β
T
reaches a maximum
of f
max
= 0.278 at β
Tc
= 1.278, the flow will be unstable to long wave disturbances if
β > −0.218 or λ > 0.782.
In order to determine whether the flow is stable or unstable over the whole spectrum of
wavenumbers, the wavenumbers at which the growth rate is zero are examined. Such growth
rates are given by:
k
2
(
2
k
2
+
1
k +
0
) = 0 (62)

2
= 4[(1 +β)β
T

2
−1) −β(1 +α)
2
] (63)

1
= −(1 +β)
2
β
2
T

2
−1) (64)

0
= β(β
T
+α +1)(αβ
T
−α −1)(β −β
C1
)(β −β
C2
), (65)
where β
C2
=
−β
T
e
β
T
β
T
e
β
T
−e
β
T
−1
. It is easy to see that one recovers the cut-off wavenumber β
T
/4
in the case β = 0 (TH86). Furthermore, one should note that
2
is always positive while

1
is always negative. One can showthat if β > β
C1
,
0
is negative and Eq. 62 will have two
real roots (one negative and one positive), the latter corresponding to the cut-off wavenum-
ber of the unstable flow. On the other hand, if β < β
C1
then
0
is positive and Eq. 62 may
either have two real positive roots or two complex roots. In the latter case, the flow will be
stable for all wavenumber, while for the former it will be unstable for a finite spectrum that
does not include long waves.
Figure 2 depicts instability characteristics obtained by solving numerically Eq. 59 for
β
T
= 5 and various values of β. The three curves illustrate the three possibilities discussed
earlier where the flow may be unstable (β = −0.2), unstable for a spectrum that does not
1 3
Miscible Thermo-Viscous Fingering Instability 835
β = -0.6
k
0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0
γ
-0.4
-0.3
-0.2
-0.1
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
β = -0.4
β = -0.2
Fig. 2 Growth rate for a step-size thermal base state front with β
T
= 5.0
include long waves (β = −0.4) and stable (β = −0.6). Such dispersion curves are remi-
niscent of the turning-type instabilities for which a critical value of a parameter has to be
crossed for the instability to set in. While studying the effect of heat loss on density fingering
of downward propagating exothermic reaction–diffusion fronts, D’Hernoncourt et al. (2005)
observed similar instability which can be characterized by a band of unstable modes that
excludes long waves.
4.1.1.2 Porosity Expansion The effects of small deviations in the porosity from the case of
a Hele-Shaw cell (porosity φ = 1 or b = λ −1 = 0) are examined here. The solution for a
Hele-Shaw cell is obtained from Eq. 62 and a series expansion around b = 0 leads to:
γ =
−k
2
+kβ
T
−k
2
+
_
k((1 −α)/(1 +α) +3β
T
/2) −((5 +3α)/(1 +α) −β
T
/2) +β
2
T
/2
+k +2β
T
_
×(−k)b +o(b), (66)
where =
_
k
2
+2kβ
T
.
The corresponding cut-off wavenumber is k
cut-off
=
β
T
4
+
_
5α+7
8(α+1)
+
5
16
β
T
_
b + o(b),
indicating that as the porosity is decreased, the instability characteristics are shifted toward
longer waves. As shall be seen later, this result is also true when either the QSSA or IVC
method is used to analyze the flow instability.
4.1.2 Flow Displacement With Double Solutal-Thermal Fronts
In this section, a displacement where the viscosity of the two fluids involved in the displace-
ment varies with both the concentration and the temperature is considered. In order to obtain
the growth rate for step profiles, Eq. 40 is solved numerically for different values of the
parameters β
C
, β
T
, Le, and λ.
At first, the effect of increase in β
T
for constant β
C
= 1 is examined in the case of a
Hele-Shaw cell (λ = 1) for two values of the Lewis number (Fig. 3). For a hypothetical
1 3
836 M. N. Islam, J. Azaiez
β
T
= 0
k
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8
γ
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.15
0.20
β
T
= 1.0
β
T
= 2.0
(a)
β
T
= 0
k
0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25 0.30
γ
0.00
0.01
0.02
0.03
β
T
= 1.0
β
T
= 2.0
(b)
Fig. 3 Variation of analytical growth rate with β
T
for β
C
= 1 and λ = 1.00 (a) Le = 1, (b) Le = 50
value of Le = 1, an increase in β
T
increases the quasi-static growth rate by both increasing
the maximum growth rate and the cut-off wavenumber k
cut-off
(Fig. 3a). This is not surpris-
ing since for such values of the thermal-lag coefficient and Lewis number, β
C
and β
T
have
additive effects on instability, and the flow is equivalent to an isothermal displacement with
an effective mobility ratio β
eff
= β
C

T
. As depicted by Fig. 3b, similar enhancement in
instability with the increase in β
T
is observed for a large Le (i.e., 50). However, it should
be noted that the characteristic curves now approach that for the isothermal case (β
T
= 0).
Also note that the spectrum of unstable wavenumbers gets larger with increasing β
T
, while
the wavenumber corresponding to the maximum growth rate tends to be smaller.
The effect of increasing β
T
for fixed β
C
is also examined in the case of a homogeneous
porous medium at both unity and a large value of Le and for λ = 0.25. In the case of unity
Le, again larger values of β
T
result in a more unstable flow (Fig. 4a). Inspection of Figs. 3a
and 4a reveals that an increase in solid content induces similar stabilizing effects on both the
maximumgrowth rate and the cut-off wavenumber. Hence, the characteristic curves for larger
β
T
values approach the isothermal curve quite uniformly. On the other hand, at Le = 50
and λ = 0.25 (see Fig. 4b), the combined effect of strong thermal diffusion and higher solid
content reduces the destabilizing role of β
T
to such an extent that the characteristic curves
for larger β
T
are virtually indistinguishable from the curve for the isothermal case (β
T
= 0).
1 3
Miscible Thermo-Viscous Fingering Instability 837
β
T
= 0
k
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3
γ
0.00
0.01
0.02
0.03
β
T
= 1.0
β
T
= 2.0
(a)
k
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3
γ
0.00
0.01
0.02
0.03
β
T
= 0
β
T
= 1
β
T
= 2
(b)
Fig. 4 Variation of analytical growth rate with β
T
for β
C
= 1 and λ = 0.25, (a) Le = 1, (b) Le = 50
Thus, at large Le, the instability in porous media is mostly dominated by the viscosity varia-
tion due to concentration change with little or no effects due to β
T
. Results for intermediate
values of λ and Le showed that similar and monotonic trends; but will not be discussed for
brevity.
4.2 Results Based on the QSSA
The code developed to solve the eigenvalue problem (Eq. 53) was first validated by compar-
ing the predictions with standard results published in the literature for isothermal miscible
displacements in a Hele-Shaw cell (TH86). Very good agreement was obtained.
With the adopted diffusive scaling, the width of the domain is set by the solutal Peclet
number, Pe
c
. For a domain size of 500, a 1,000-point mesh converges quickly with appro-
priate spacing. For a particular set of simulation parameters β
C
, β
T
and Le and at a particular
wavenumber k, the discrete eigenvalues are found to be insensitive to the width of the domain,
as long as the domain is chosen large enough to accommodate all the decaying eigenfunc-
tions. Among the set of discrete eigenvalues obtained, the largest one which leads to the
maximum growth rate is chosen.
1 3
838 M. N. Islam, J. Azaiez
β
T
= 0
k
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4
γ
0.00
0.02
0.04
0.06
0.08
β
T
= 1.0
β
T
= 2.0
(a)
β
T
= 0
k
0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20
γ
0.000
0.005
0.010
0.015
0.020
β
T
= 1.0
β
T
= 2.0
(b)
Fig. 5 Quasi-static growth rate at different values of β
T
for β
C
= 1, λ = 1 and t
0
= 10; (a) Le = 1,
(b) Le = 20
Figure 5a depicts the variation of stability characteristics with β
T
in a Hele-Shaw cell for
β
C
= 1 and λ = 1 and Le = 1. Again, an increase in the parameter β
T
leads to a more
unstable flowwhich is in complete agreement with the trends observed earlier. Similar trends
toward an increase in the flow instability are observed for larger values of the Lewis number
(see Fig. 5b for Le = 20). However, the effects are less spectacular and the curves for the
non-isothermal flow are closer to that for the isothermal case (β
T
= 0). In fact, for practical
application, it was found that for values of Lewis number larger than 50, all curves are almost
superposed indicating that for the ranges of the parameter β
T
examined here, heat transfer
has negligible effects on the instability. The above observations are qualitatively, similar to
those reported earlier in the special case of a step-size initial profile.
4.3 Results Based on the IVC Approach
In this part, the stability of the thermo-viscous flow is examined by solving the associated
initial value problem (Eqs. 20–22). The numerical code developed for this study has been
validated by simulating a case of isothermal miscible displacement (β
C
= 3, β
T
= 0, λ = 1,
and k = 0.2) that has been examined by TH86. Almost identical variation of the growth rate
1 3
Miscible Thermo-Viscous Fingering Instability 839
k
0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20
η
ψ
0.000
0.005
0.010
0.015
0.020
β
T
= 0
β
T
= 1
β
T
= 1.5
Fig. 6 IVC growth rate at different values of β
T
for β
C
= 1, λ = 1, Le = 20 and t = 10
with time for the concentration perturbation was found. However, there were differences in
the case of the growth rate for the velocity perturbation. TH86 presented initial value calcu-
lation (IVC) results based on averaging of 30 realizations of random noises, which implies
that the growth rates depended on the nature of the random initial perturbation. In the present
study, it was found that the growth rates are insensitive to the introduced initial noise. Our
result is actually supported by the study of Ben et al. (2002) where the authors noted that in
small amplitude miscible fingering, the instability is dominated by the zero eigen-mode which
is selected from the initial random noise. Moreover, it has also been found that the growth
rates for the initial velocity perturbation ψ match closely the longtime growth rates presented
by Ben et al. (2002) for the same set of parameters. This again validates the accuracy of our
numerical results.
Furthermore, the convergence of the results has been checked systematically by vary-
ing the spatial resolution using 256, 512, and 1,024 nodes and adapting the time step size
accordingly. Plots of the variation of the different growth rates indicated that the growth rates
reached a plateau at a dimensionless time t = 10. Therefore, for brevity, the results will be
discussed only for the growth rates associated with the stream-wise velocity perturbations

ψ
) at t = 10.
For a Hele-Shaw cell (λ = 1), instability characteristics for the hypothetical value of
Le = 1 are similar to the ones obtained in the previous section. Results for Le = 20 are
depicted in Fig. 6. In this case, the destabilizing trends are reversed and the flow now gets
less unstable as β
T
is increased. It is worth noting here that the cut-off wavenumber remains
virtually unchanged, while the maximumgrowth rate is nowdecreasing instead of increasing
with increasing β
T
; although the change is quite nominal.
In order to study the effects of increasing the solid content of the porous matrix, the
parameter λ has been varied. Figure 7 shows instability characteristics as they vary with β
T
for β
C
= 1, Le = 1 and two representative values of λ. It is clear from Fig. 7a for λ = 0.75
as well as Fig. 7b for λ = 0.25 that irrespective of the value of the thermal-lag parameter
λ, an increase in β
T
leads to a more unstable flow. However, for a given set of parameters,
the maximum growth rate as well as the cut-off wavenumber decrease with decreasing λ,
indicating that the flow instability is attenuated as the thermal-lag coefficient is reduced.
1 3
840 M. N. Islam, J. Azaiez
k
0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25 0.30 0.35
η
ψ
0.00
0.01
0.02
0.03
0.04
0.05
0.06
0.07
β
T
= 0
β
T
= 1
β
T
= 2
(a)
k
0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25
η
ψ
0.00
0.01
0.02
0.03
β
T
= 0
β
T
= 1
β
T
= 2
(b)
Fig. 7 IVC growth rate at different values of β
T
for β
C
= 1, Le = 1 and t = 10, (a) λ = 0.75, (b) λ = 0.25
Instability characteristics at larger values of Lewis number (Le = 20) for β
C
= 1 and two
representative values of λ (i.e., 0.75 and 0.25) were examined. A trend toward less unstable
flow as β
T
is increased is observed for λ = 0.75 (Fig. 8a). However, the effect is less impor-
tant than in the case of λ = 1, and the cut-off wave number is now virtually the same for all
considered values of β
T
. For λ = 0.25, the instability characteristics are unchanged when
the thermal mobility ratio β
T
is varied (Fig. 8b). Results at larger values of the Lewis num-
ber show similar trends. Thus, at large Le, the stabilizing effect of strong thermal diffusion
gets removed with the decrease in λ and the flow attains the instability characteristics of the
reference isothermal case at practically small value of λ.
5 Conclusions
In this part, a linear stability analysis of thermo-viscous miscible flowin both Hele-Shawcell
and in homogeneous porous media of rectilinear geometry has been carried out using two
distinct approaches, namely the QSSA approach and IVC approach. In QSSA approach, the
growth rates of the physical perturbations are obtained either analytically at zero time or by
solving the algebraic eigenvalue problem numerically at larger time, while in IVC approach,
1 3
Miscible Thermo-Viscous Fingering Instability 841
k
0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20
0.000
0.005
0.010
0.015
0.020
β
T
= 0
β
T
= 1
β
T
= 1.5
η
ψ
(a)
k
0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20
η
ψ
0.000
0.005
0.010
0.015
0.020
β
Τ
= 0
β
Τ
= 1
β
Τ
= 1.5
(b)
Fig. 8 IVCgrowth rate at different values of β
T
for β
C
= 1, Le = 20 and t = 10, (a) λ = 0.75, (b) λ = 0.25
the instability has been investigated numerically only. For both approaches, the effects of
solutal and thermal mobility ratio β
C
and β
T
, respectively, which represent the effects of
mass and heat transfer on the flow viscosity, are analyzed. In addition, the roles of thermal
versus mass dispersion represented by the Lewis number Le and that of heat distribution in
the porous media through the thermal-lag coefficient λ are examined.
Using QSSA approach, it has been found that for fixed values of β
C
, Le, and λ; an
increase in β
T
always enhanced the instability. Moreover, keeping all other parameters fixed,
an increase in Le and/or a decrease in λ is found to be stabilizing. These stabilizing effects
are attributed to stronger diffusion of heat and its distribution in the solid part of the porous
medium. In contrast, IVC approach led to some interestingly different results except at the
special case of unity Le where similar conclusions to those reported in the QSSA approach
are found. At large Le Hele-Shaw flow, an apparent decrease in instability is observed with
the increase in β
T
for fixed β
C
. At successively small values of λ, the stabilizing effect of
strong thermal diffusion gets reduced and the stability characteristics become insensitive to
the variation of β
T
. Consequently, the flow instability becomes completely identical to that
of the reference isothermal case. These differences between the predictions obtained from
the QSSA and IVC approaches may be attributed to the differences in the heat and mass
diffusive time scales. For Le = 1, the similar trends can be explained by the fact that in
this case diffusive rates of heat and mass are the same at the time t
0
at which the instability
1 3
842 M. N. Islam, J. Azaiez
is determined. However, for large Le, heat diffuses faster than mass and the assumption of
a quasi-steady base state may be applicable to one, but not the other. Hence, the failure
of the QSSA approach to identify the strong stabilizing effects at large Le which can even
make the flow less unstable than the reference isothermal case. Moreover, it will be shown in
the next part dealing with full nonlinear simulations that the conclusions obtained from the
IVC approach are in concordance with those attained from nonlinear evolution of fingers.
Thus, it can be concluded that the IVC approach captures better the inherent features of the
thermo-viscous flow instability.
In practical terms, the results of the analysis indicate that heat effects act toward making
the displacement less unstable in the sense that initial disturbances will have weaker growth
rates and, hence, one should expect slower growth of instabilities. However, the spectrum of
unstable wave-numbers is virtually unchanged by thermal effects implying that even though
weaker, the initial disturbances that develop in the flow will have the same wavelengths.
Finally, it should be stressed that these trends will be less noticeable if the rate of heat loss
from the fluids to the surrounding medium become important. In such a case, thermal effects
will cease to play a role in the displacement process which becomes simply dominated by
solutal effects.
Acknowledgments This study was supported by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of
Canada (NSERC) and the Alberta Ingenuity Centre for In-Situ Energy (AICISE). The authors also acknowl-
edge the use of the computing resources of the West-Grid cluster.
Appendix
Applying the decay conditions at x → ±∞, the general solution for Eqs. 26 and 27 is:
ψ = A
1
exp(m
1
x) + B
1
exp(kx) x < 0
ψ = A
2
exp(m
2
x) + B
2
exp(−kx) x > 0
_
. (A1)
The continuity of u velocity at x = 0 yields:
ψ(0

) = ψ(0
+
). (A2)
While the jump in the normal stress at x = 0 results in:
µ(0

)
∂ψ
∂x
(0

) = µ(0
+
)
∂ψ
∂x
(0
+
)
or,

dx
(0

) = α

dx
(0
+
) (A3)
where α represents the viscosity ratio [α = µ(0
+
)/µ(0

) = exp(β
T
)].
The continuity of temperature at x = 0 yields:
θ(0

) = θ(0
+
). (A4)
Using Eqs. A2 and A4, Eq. 27 can be expressed in terms of the velocity disturbance eigen-
function as:
d
2
ψ
dx
2
(0

) =
d
2
ψ
dx
2
(0
+
) (A5)
1 3
Miscible Thermo-Viscous Fingering Instability 843
Furthermore, integrating combined equation resulting from Eqs. 26 and 27 from 0

to 0
+
leads to:
_
0
+
0

_
d
2
dx
2
−(λ −1)
d
dx
−l
2
__
d
2
dx
2

T
δ(x)
d
dx
−k
2
_
ψdx
= λβ
T
k
2
_
0
+
0

δ(x)ψdx. (A6)
Satisfying Eqs. (A2–A5) in conjunction with the general form of the solution (Eq. A1) leads
to the following four equations relating the constant terms A
1
, B
1
, A
2
, and B
2
:
A
1
+ B
1
− A
2
− B
2
= 0 (A7)
m
1
A
1
+k B
1
−αm
2
A
2
+αk B
2
= 0 (A8)
m
2
1
A
1
+k
2
B
1
−m
2
2
A
2
−k
2
B
2
= 0 (A9)
_
m
3
1
−(l
2
+k
2
)m
1
+
β
T
2
(m
1
l
2
+λk
2
)
_
A
1
+
_
−l
2
k +
β
T
2
(l
2
k +λk
2
)
_
B
1
+
_
−m
3
2
+(l
2
+k
2
)m
2
+
β
T
2
(m
2
l
2
+λk
2
)
_
A
2
+
_
−l
2
k +
β
T
2
(−l
2
k +λk
2
)
_
B
2
= 0.
(A10)
A non-zero solution is obtained if and only if the determinant of the above matrix is zero:
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
1
m
1
m
2
1
m
3
1
−(l
2
+k
2
)m
1
+
β
T
2
(m
1
l
2
+λk
2
)
0
m
1
−k
m
2
1
−k
2
m
3
1
−(l
2
+k
2
)m
1
+
β
T
2
(m
1
l
2
+λk
2
)
+l
2
k −
β
T
2
(l
2
k +λk
2
)
0
m
1
−αm
2
m
2
1
−m
2
2
m
3
1
−(l
2
+k
2
)m
1
+
β
T
2
(m
1
l
2
+λk
2
)
−m
3
2
+(l
2
+k
2
)m
2
+
β
T
2
(m
2
l
2
+λk
2
)
0
(1 +α)k
0
−l
2
k +
β
T
2
(l
2
k +λk
2
)
−l
2
k +
β
T
2
(−l
2
k +λk
2
)
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
= 0. (A11)
Upon simplification, the determinant of the above matrix will allow to determine the initial
growth rate of an infinitesimal perturbation. In the following steps, two important relations
between the roots m
1
and m
2
are used
m
1
m
2
= −l
2
(A12)
m
1
+m
2
= λ −1 = b. (A13)
This leads to:
k(m
1
−k)(m
1
−b −k)
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
1 (1 +α) (1 +α)
m
1
+k b 0
m
1
b +m
1
k −
β
T
m
1
(b−m
1
)
2
2m
1
k +b
2
−bk 2m
1
b −2m
2
1
+λβ
T
k
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
= 0. (A14)
1 3
844 M. N. Islam, J. Azaiez
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1 3