Laboratory experiments have shown that the steady flow of granular material down a rough inclined plane has a surface that is not parallel to the plane, but has a curvature across the slope with the height increasing toward the middle of the flow. We study this observation by postulating a new granular rheology, similar to that of a second order fluid. This model is applied to the experiments using a shallow water approximation, given that the depth of the flow is much smaller than the width. The model predicts that a second normal stress difference allows cross-slope height variations to develop in regions with considerable cross-slope velocity shear, consistent with the experiments. The model also predicts the development of lateral eddies, which are yet to be observed.
Shallow granular flow Normal stress difference Levée formation
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