The spatiotemporal dynamics of vertical autocatalytic fronts traveling horizontally in thin solution layers closed to the air can be influenced by buoyancy-driven convection induced by density gradients across the front. We perform here a combined experimental and theoretical study of the competition between solutal and thermal effects on such convection. Experimentally, we focus on the antagonistic chlorite-tetrathionate reaction for which solutal and thermal contributions to the density jump across the front have opposite signs. We show that in isothermal conditions the heavier products sink below the lighter reactants, providing an asymptotic constant finger shape deformation of the front by convection. When thermal effects are present, the hotter products, on the contrary, climb above the reactants for strongly exothermic conditions. These various observations as well as the influence of the relative weight of the solutal and thermal effects and of the thickness of the solution layer on the dynamics are discussed in terms of a two-dimensional reaction-diffusion- convection model parametrized by a solutal RC and a thermal R T Rayleigh number.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Mathematical Physics
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Applied Mathematics