Front propagation in a vortex lattice: dependence on boundary conditions and vortex depth
We experimentally address the propagation of reaction–diffusion fronts in vortex lattices by combining, in a Hele-Shaw cell and at low Reynolds number, forced electroconvective flows and an autocatalytic reaction in solution. We consider both vortex chains and vortex arrays, the former referring to mixed free/rigid boundary conditions for vortices and the latter to free boundary conditions. Varying the depth of the fluid layer, we observe no variation of the mean front velocities for vortex arrays and a noticeable variation for vortex chains. This questions the two-dimensional character of front propagation in low Reynolds number vortex lattices, as well as the mechanisms of this dependence.