Unsteady flows and inhomogeneous packing in damp granular heap flows

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9 Scopus citations


We experimentally study the transition from steady flow to unsteady flow in a quasi-two-dimensional granular heap when small amounts of water are added to monodisperse glass spheres. Particles flow uniformly down both sides of the heap for low water content, but unsteady flow occurs as the water content increases. The unsteady flow mode consists of a nondepositing downslope avalanche and an upslope propagating granular jump. The transition from steady to unsteady flow occurs when the slope exceeds a critical angle as a result of water-induced cohesion. Under unsteady flow conditions, the deposited heap consists of loosely packed and densely packed layers, the formation of which is closely related to the unsteady flow dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number032906
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 24 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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