Journal of Fluid Mechanics


Collapse and pinch-off of a non-axisymmetric impact-created air cavity in water

Oscar R. Enriqueza1 c1, Ivo R. Petersa1, Stephan Geklea1, Laura E. Schmidta1, Detlef Lohsea1 and Devaraj van der Meera1

a1 University of Twente, Enschede, 7500 AE, The Netherlands


The axisymmetric collapse of a cylindrical air cavity in water follows a universal power law with logarithmic corrections. Nonetheless, it has been suggested that the introduction of a small azimuthal disturbance induces a long-term memory effect, reflecting in oscillations which are no longer universal but remember the initial condition. In this work, we create non-axisymmetric air cavities by driving a metal disc through an initially quiescent water surface and observe their subsequent gravity-induced collapse. The cavities are characterized by azimuthal harmonic disturbances with a single mode number $m$ and amplitude ${a}_{m} $. For small initial distortion amplitude (1 or 2 % of the mean disc radius), the cavity walls oscillate linearly during collapse, with nearly constant amplitude and increasing frequency. As the amplitude is increased, higher harmonics are triggered in the oscillations and we observe more complex pinch-off modes. For small-amplitude disturbances we compare our experimental results with the model for the amplitude of the oscillations by Schmidt et al. (Nature Phys., vol. 5, 2009, pp. 343–346) and the model for the collapse of an axisymmetric impact-created cavity previously proposed by Bergmann et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 633, 2009b, pp. 381–409). By combining these two models we can reconstruct the three-dimensional shape of the cavity at any time before pinch-off.

(Received September 01 2011)

(Reviewed January 09 2012)

(Accepted March 02 2012)

(Online publication April 24 2012)

Key Words:

  • bubble dynamics;
  • pattern formation;
  • waves/free-surface flows


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