Results on two laboratory scale avalanches experiments taking place both in the air and under-water, are presented. In both cases a family of solitary erosion/deposition waves are observed. At higher inclination angles, we show the existence of a long wavelength transverse instability followed by a coarsening and the onset of a fingering pattern. While the experiments strongly differ by the spatial and time scales, the agreement between the stability diagram, the wavelengths selection and the avalanche morphology suggest a common erosion/deposition scenario. These experiments are studied theoretically in the framework of the "partial fluidization" model of dense granular flows. This model identifies a family of propagating solitary waves displaying a behavior similar to the experimental observation. A primary cause for the transverse instability is related to the dependence of avalanche velocity on the granular mass trapped by the flow.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Materials Science
- Mechanics of Materials
- General Physics and Astronomy