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Title: Fingering instabilities on an elastic 2D interface

Description: A weak, two-dimensional mineral film forms naturally on the surface of these hot springs, in the mountains of Gaviota near Santa Barbara. Gently touching the surface with my finger releases surfactants onto the surface, which act to displace the mineral film. The result is like the familiar (but always beautiful) viscous fingering, but in two dimensions and with an elastic interface. Instead of smooth fingers, cracks form and propagate, making a star-shaped pattern.

Credits: video by Gwen Raubal, finger by Todd Squires


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Contributed By: Todd Squires

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