Two continuous models for the dynamics of sandpile surfaces Academic Article uri icon


  • Recently much interest in the physics of granular media was stimulated, in particular, by two salient features of the granular state: multiplicity of metastable pile shapes and the occurrence of avalanches upon pile surfaces. It was realized that, to account for metastability, the model of pile surface dynamics should not be written as an evolutionary equation for the pile surface alone. An additional unknown character- izing the flow of grains down the pile surface is useful be- cause such flows are not uniquely determined by the external source and local free surface topography. A large spatiotemporal scale pile growth model involving two coupled dependent variables, and able to account for metastability, was proposed in Refs. 1,2. This model ne- glects avalanches as small fluctuations of the pile surface, and describes the evolving mean surface of a pile that grows on an arbitrary support under a given distributed source of bulk …

publication date

  • March 27, 2001