Internal kinematics in a planar granular column collapse

Miguel Angel Cabrera, Gustavo Pinzón

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractScientific


The granular column collapse is a simplified system of the complex dynamics observed in gravity-driven natural mass-movements (i.e., landslides, debris flows, rock avalanches) and industrial applications (i.e., pharmaceutics, concrete, and food industry). In this system, a granular column is built with an initial height and initial width and then is allowed to collapse by self-weight onto a horizontal plane, while observing the variation in runout as a function of its initial geometry. Despite its wide use in the study of mass-movements mobility, either dry or with a liquid, little is known on the internal physics during collapse and its variation when immersed in an ambient fluid. This work presents a planar setup that allows the study of fully and partially immersed granular columns, with little disturbance at release [1]. The use of a planar configuration allows the monitoring of the moving mass and its deformation patterns, providing a unique insight into the particle-fluid interactions at release and during collapse that were not possible before. These observations are of great importance for the understanding of particle-fluid interactions at a mesoscale and can shed light into larger processes like a submarine and subaerial landslides. This work addresses these interactions by varying the geometry and measuring the mobility in dry and immersed conditions. The associated deformation patterns are observed both at the column-scale and at the particle-scale, reflecting in the velocity scaling of a deformable and moving granular mass and the occasional ejection of particles at its surface. We observed that the area of the released portion decreases during collapse and converges toward an equivalent portion of surface particles with little influence by the initial column geometry. These observations validate the planar setup for the study of granular columns, provides a novel interpretation in the momentum transfer in particle-fluid systems, and sets a validation case for future numerical simulations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
EventEGU General Assembly 2020 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 3 May 20208 May 2020


ConferenceEGU General Assembly 2020
Abbreviated titleEGU 2020
Internet address


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