Three-dimensional discrete element modeling of triggered slip in sheared granular media

Behrooz Ferdowsi, Michele Griffa, Robert A. Guyer, Paul A. Johnson, Chris Marone, Jan Carmeliet

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38 Scopus citations


This paper reports results of a three-dimensional discrete element method modeling investigation of the role of boundary vibration in perturbing stick-slip dynamics in a sheared granular layer. The focus is on the influence of vibration within a range of amplitudes and on the fact that above a threshold early slip will be induced. We study the effects of triggering beyond the vibration interval and their origins. A series of perturbed simulations are performed for 30 large slip events selected from different reference runs, in the absence of vibration. For each of the perturbed simulations, vibration is applied either about the middle of the stick phase or slightly before the onset of a large expected slip event. For both cases, a suppression of energy release is on average observed in the perturbed simulations, within the short term following the vibration application. For cases where vibration is applied in the middle of the stick phase, a significant clock advance of the large slip event occurs. In the long term after vibration, there is a recovery period with higher-energy release and increased activity in the perturbed simulations, which compensates for the temporary suppression observed within the short term.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number042204
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 14 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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