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  • Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Volume 554
  • May 2006, pp. 259-270

Raining into shallow water as a description of the collapse of a column of grains

  • E. LARRIEU (a1), L. STARON (a2) and E. J. HINCH (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 24 April 2006

A modified shallow-water model is presented for the collapse of tall columns of grains. The flow is divided in two parts. Depth-averaged shallow-water equations are applied to a thin horizontally spreading layer which is subjected to Coulombic friction. The falling mass of grains is gradually added to the zone of the initial column during the free-fall time of the column. This ‘rain’ is assumed to have no horizontal momentum. The results obtained here are in agreement with both planar and axisymmetric experiments over a range of aspect ratio $a$. In particular, the runout distance is found to vary as $a^{0.65}$ (planar) and $a^{0.52}$ (axisymmetric). The flow dynamics compares well with discrete simulations which have been successfully compared with experiments.

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Journal of Fluid Mechanics
  • ISSN: 0022-1120
  • EISSN: 1469-7645
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-fluid-mechanics
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