Collapse Dynamics and Runout of Dense Granular Materials in a Fluid
Physical Review Letters / n° 109, 188001 (2012)
We investigate the effect of an ambient fluid on the dynamics of collapse and spread of a granular column simulated by means of the contact dynamics method interfaced with computational fluid dynamics. The runout distance is found to increase as a power law with the aspect ratio of the column, and, surprisingly, for a given aspect ratio and packing fraction, it may be similar in the grain-inertial and fluid-inertial regimes but with considerably longer duration in the latter case. We show that the effect of fluid in viscous and fluid-inertial regimes is to both reduce the kinetic energy during collapse and enhance the flow by lubrication during spread. Hence, the runout distance in a fluid may be below or equal to that in the absence of fluid due to compensation between those effects.