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The kinematics of bidisperse granular roll waves

Viroulet, S, Baker, JL, Rocha, FM, Johnson, CG, Kokelaar, BP and Gray, JMNT (2018) The kinematics of bidisperse granular roll waves. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 848. pp. 836-875. ISSN 0022-1120

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Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.1017/jfm.2018.348 (Published version)


Small perturbations to a steady uniform granular chute flow can grow as the material moves downslope and develop into a series of surface waves that travel faster than the bulk flow. This roll wave instability has important implications for the mitigation of hazards due to geophysical mass flows, such as snow avalanches, debris flows and landslides, because the resulting waves tend to merge and become much deeper and more destructive than the uniform flow from which they form. Natural flows are usually highly polydisperse and their dynamics is significantly complicated by the particle size segregation that occurs within them. This study investigates the kinematics of such flows theoretically and through small-scale experiments that use a mixture of large and small glass spheres. It is shown that large particles, which segregate to the surface of the flow, are always concentrated near the crests of roll waves. There are different mechanisms for this depending on the relative speed of the waves, compared to the speed of particles at the free surface, as well as on the particle concentration. If all particles at the surface travel more slowly than the waves, the large particles become concentrated as the shock-like wavefronts pass them. This is due to a concertina-like effect in the frame of the moving wave, in which large particles move slowly backwards through the crest, but travel quickly in the troughs between the crests. If, instead, some particles on the surface travel more quickly than the wave and some move slower, then, at low concentrations, large particles can move towards the wave crest from both the forward and rearward sides. This results in isolated regions of large particles that are trapped at the crest of each wave, separated by regions where the flow is thinner and free of large particles. There is also a third regime arising when all surface particles travel faster than the waves, which has large particles present everywhere but with a sharp increase in their concentration towards the wave fronts. In all cases, the significantly enhanced large particle concentration at wave crests means that such flows in nature can be especially destructive and thus particularly hazardous.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 01 Mathematical Sciences; 09 Engineering; Fluids & Plasmas
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QC Physics
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Divisions: Computer Science & Mathematics
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2023 12:10
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2023 12:15
DOI or ID number: 10.1017/jfm.2018.348
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19138
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