Bow shocks and vacuum formation during the granular free-surface flow around circular cylinder

CUI, Xinjun and GRAY, J.M.N.T. (2012). Bow shocks and vacuum formation during the granular free-surface flow around circular cylinder. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 720, 314-337.

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Link to published version:: 10.1017/jfm.2013.42

Abstract

Snow avalanches and other hazardous geophysical granular flows, such as debris flows, lahars and pyroclastic flows, often impact on obstacles as they flow down a slope, generating rapid changes in the flow height and velocity in their vicinity. It is important to understand how a granular material flows around such obstacles to improve the design of deflecting and catching dams, and to correctly interpret field observations. In this paper small-scale experiments and numerical simulations are used to investigate the supercritical gravity-driven free-surface flow of a granular avalanche around a circular cylinder. Our experiments show that a very sharp bow shock wave and a stagnation point are generated in front of the cylinder. The shock standoff distance is accurately reproduced by shock-capturing numerical simulations and is approximately equal to the reciprocal of the Froude number, consistent with previous approximate results for shallow-water flows. As the grains move around the cylinder the flow expands and the pressure gradients rapidly accelerate the particles up to supercritical speeds again. The internal pressure is not strong enough to immediately push the grains into the space behind the cylinder and instead a grain-free region, or granular vacuum, forms on the lee side. For moderate upstream Froude numbers and slope inclinations, the granular vacuum closes up rapidly to form a triangular region, but on steeper slopes both experiments and numerical simulations show that the pinch-off distance moves far downstream.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Materials and Engineering Research Institute > Centre for Robotics and Automation > Mobile Machine and Vision Laboratory
Identification Number: 10.1017/jfm.2013.42
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2012 12:58
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2013 16:44
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6151

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