Granular Matter

, 18:11 | Cite as

Enhanced run-out of dam-break granular flows caused by initial fluidization and initial material expansion

  • S. MontserratEmail author
  • A. Tamburrino
  • O. Roche
  • Y. Niño
  • C. F. Ihle
Original Paper


We report results of the run-out of experimental dam-break flows in a horizontal channel generated from the collapse of columns of fine (75 \(\upmu \)m) particles fluidized at various degrees. We find that the flow run-out (x) made dimensionless by the initial column length (\(x_{o})\) is a power function of the initial column height-to-length ratio (r), as shown in previous works with non-fluidized flows. The run-out of flows initially fluidized at different degrees is accounted by \(x/x_{o }=\alpha r^{n}\). For initially non-fluidized flows, our values of \(\alpha \) are significantly higher than those reported earlier for flows of coarser granular material (\(>\)0.15 mm), showing that finely grained flows have longer run-outs compared to their coarser counterparts. The coefficient \(\alpha \) is a function of the initial degree of fluidization, with a higher growth above 93 % of fluidization, which coincides with the onset of bed expansion, and it accounts for a flow run-out increase being up to more than twice that of non-fluidized flows. The parameter \(\alpha \) is well correlated with the amount of initial bed expansion, which undergoes a sharp transition at high degrees of fluidization that has shown to be an important mechanism for reducing flow friction. Our results are consistent with earlier findings that showed that bed expansion significantly increases pore pressure diffusion timescales in static columns, suggesting that the long run-out of initially expanded finely grained flows is due to their ability to diffuse pore pressure slowly.


Granular flow Run-out Fluidization Pore pressure Dam-break Experiments 



This work was supported by ECOS-CONICYT Project C11U01, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD, France), Departamento de Ingeniería Civil, Universidad de Chile, Advanced Mining Technology Center (AMTC) and the Chilean National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research, CONICYT, through Fondecyt Projects Nos. 11110201, 11130254 and 1130910. K. Hutter and an anonymous reviewer are thanked for fruitful reviews. This is Laboratory of Excellence ClercVolc contribution no. 189.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Montserrat
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. Tamburrino
    • 1
    • 2
  • O. Roche
    • 3
  • Y. Niño
    • 1
    • 2
  • C. F. Ihle
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Advanced Mining Technology CenterUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Departamento de Ingeniería CivilUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile
  3. 3.Laboratoire Magmas et VolcansUniversité Blaise Pascal-CNRS-IRD, OPGC, Campus Universitaire des CézeauxAubière CedexFrance
  4. 4.Department of Mining EngineeringUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile

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