, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 381-392
Date: 17 Mar 2012

A three-dimensional discrete-grain model for the simulation of dam-break rectangular collapses: comparison between numerical results and experiments

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Abstract

In this paper, we used a 3-D discrete-element model, Grains3D, which allows the simulation of unsteady granular flows of monodisperse soft spherical particles in a common situation (i.e., down a rectangular channel). A series of numerical dam-break experiments was performed to predict the behavior of granular columns that propagate down a rough horizontal surface from different initial conditions (varying the initial aspect ratio). Numerical results were compared to those obtained experimentally by Lajeunesse et al. (Phys Fluids 17:103302, 2005) from a similar configuration. Runout distance, temporal flow evolution, deposit morphology and internal flow structures of similar laboratory experiments were quantitatively reproduced as well as prediction of empirical and theoretical scaling laws. This paper highlights that such fully 3-D simulations of soft-spheres can remarkably capture dam-break collapses performed in a rectangular channel. Moreover, Grains3D can provide a complete physical description of such complex unsteady systems which will be the topic of future on-going studies.