The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, TX, USA, 78539
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Brownsville, TX, USA, 78520
Heat and mass transfer through porous media has been a topic of research interest because of its importance in various applications. The flow system in porous media is modelled by a set of partial differential equations. The momentum equation which is derived from Darcy’s law contains a resistivity parameter. We investigate the effect of hydraulic resistivity on a weakly nonlinear thermal flow in a horizontal porous layer. The present study is a realistic study of nonlinear convection flow with variable resistivity whose rate of variation is arbitrary in general. This is a first step for considering more general problems in applications that involve variable resistivity that may include both variations in permeability and viscosity of the porous layer. Such problems are important for understanding properties of underground flow, migration of moisture in fibrous insulations, underground disposal of nuclear waste, welding process, petrochemical generation, drug delivery in vascular tumor, etc. Using weakly non-linear procedure, the linear and first-order systems are derived. The critical Rayleigh number and the critical wave number are obtained from the linear system using the normal mode approach for the two-dimensional case. The linear and first-order systems are solved numerically using the fourth-order Runge-Kutta and shooting methods. Numerical results for the temperature are presented in tabular and graphical forms for different resistivities. Through this study, it is observed that a stabilizing effect on the dependent variables occurs in the case of a positive vertical rate of change in resistivity, whereas a destabilizing effect is noticed in the case of a negative vertical rate of change in resistivity. The results obtained indicate that the convective flow due to the buoyancy force is more effective for weaker resistivity.