Modelling Transient Dynamics of Granular Slopes: MPM and DEM
Transient granular flows, such as rock falls, debris flows, and aerial and submarine avalanches, occur very often in nature. In the geotechnical context, transient movements of large granular slopes are a substantial factor of risk due to their destructive force and the transformations they may produce in the landscape.
This paper investigates the ability of MPM, a continuum approach, to reproduce the evolution of a granular slope destabilised by an external energy source. In particular, a central issue is whether the power-law dependence of run-out distance and time observed with respect to the initial geometry or energy can be reproduced by a simple Mohr-Coulomb plastic behaviour. The effect of base friction on the run-out kinematics is studied by comparing the data obtained from the DEM and MPM simulations. The mechanism of energy dissipation is primarily through friction and the MPM is able to predict the run-out response in good agreement with the DEM simulations.
At very low excitation energies, the DEM simulations show longer run-out in comparison to the MPM due to local destabilization at the flow front. At low input energies, a larger fraction of the energy is consumed in the destabilisation process, hence the amount energy available for flow is less. However, at higher input energy, where most of the energy is dissipated during the spreading phase, the run-out distance has a weak dependence on the distribution of velocity in the granular mass.
Keywords: MPM, granuar dynamics, transient flows, continuum.