When small particles, e.g., glass, flour, pollen, etc., come in contact with a fluid-liquid interface they disperse so quickly to form a monolayer on the interface that it appears explosive, especially on the surface of mobile liquids like water. This is a consequence of the fact that the adsorption of a particle in an interface causes a lateral flow on the interface away from the particle. In this study we use the particle image velocimetry (PIV) technique to measure the transient three-dimensional flow that arises due to the adsorption of spherical particles. The PIV measurements show that the flow develops a fraction of a second after the adsorption of the particle and then persists for several seconds. The fluid below the particle rises upwards and on the surface moves away from the particle. These latter PIV results are consistent with the surface-velocity measurements performed in earlier studies. The strength of the induced flow, and the time duration for which the flow persists, both decrease with decreasing particle size.

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