Regular Article

The European Physical Journal E

, 35:122

First online:

A model for the onset of oscillations near the stopping angle in an inclined granular flow

  • D. TanAffiliated withField of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Cornell University Email author 
  • , P. RichardAffiliated withInstitut de Physique de Rennes, UMR CNRS 6251, University of Rennes 1
  • , J. T. JenkinsAffiliated withField of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Cornell University

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We propose an explanation for the onset of oscillations seen in numerical simulations of dense, inclined flows of inelastic, frictional spheres. It is based on a phase transition between disordered and ordered collisional states that may be interrupted by the formation of force chains. Low-frequency oscillations between ordered and disordered states take place over weakly bumpy bases; higher-frequency oscillations over strongly bumpy bases involve the formation of particle chains that extend to the base and interrupt the phase change. The predicted frequency and amplitude of the oscillations induced by the unstable part of the equation of state are similar to those seen in the simulations and they depend upon the contact stiffness in the same way. Such oscillations could be the source of sound produced by flowing sand.

Graphical abstract


Flowing Matter: Granular Matter