We present an investigation on the combined effect of fluid rheology and permeability variations on the propagation of porous gravity currents in axisymmetric geometry. The fluid is taken to be of power-law type with behaviour index n and the permeability to depend from the distance from the source as a power-law function of exponent β. The model represents the injection of a current of non-Newtonian fluid along a vertical bore hole in porous media with space-dependent properties. The injection is either instantaneous () or continuous (α > 0). A self-similar solution describing the rate of propagation and the profile of the current is derived under the assumption of small aspect ratio between the current average thickness and length. The limitations on model parameters imposed by the model assumptions are discussed in depth, considering currents of increasing/decreasing velocity, thickness, and aspect ratio, and the sensitivity of the radius, thickness, and aspect ratio to model parameters. Several critical values of α and β discriminating between opposite tendencies are thus determined. Experimental validation is performed using shear-thinning suspensions and Newtonian mixtures in different regimes. A box filled with ballotini of different diameter is used to reproduce the current, with observations from the side and bottom. Most experimental results for the radius and profile of the current agree well with the self-similar solution except at the beginning of the process, due to the limitations of the 2-D assumption and to boundary effects near the injection zone. The results for this specific case corroborate a general model for currents with constant or time-varying volume of power-law fluids propagating in porous domains of plane or radial geometry, with uniform or varying permeability, and the possible effect of channelization. All results obtained in the present and previous papers for the key parameters governing the dynamics of power-law gravity currents are summarized and compared to infer the combinations of parameters leading to the fastest/lowest rate of propagation, and of variation of thickness and aspect ratio.
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