1,075 research outputs found

    Selection of dune shapes and velocities. Part 1: Dynamics of sand, wind and barchans

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    Almost fifty years of investigations of barchan dunes morphology and dynamics is reviewed, with emphasis on the physical understanding of these objects. The characteristics measured on the field (shape, size, velocity) and the physical problems they rise are presented. Then, we review the dynamical mechanisms explaining the formation and the propagation of dunes. In particular a complete and original approach of the sand transport over a flat sand bed is proposed and discussed. We conclude on open problems by outlining future research directions.Comment: submitted to Eur. Phys. J. B, 20 pages, 20 figure

    Direct numerical simulations of aeolian sand ripples

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    Aeolian sand beds exhibit regular patterns of ripples resulting from the interaction between topography and sediment transport. Their characteristics have been so far related to reptation transport caused by the impacts on the ground of grains entrained by the wind into saltation. By means of direct numerical simulations of grains interacting with a wind flow, we show that the instability turns out to be driven by resonant grain trajectories, whose length is close to a ripple wavelength and whose splash leads to a mass displacement towards the ripple crests. The pattern selection results from a compromise between this destabilizing mechanism and a diffusive downslope transport which stabilizes small wavelengths. The initial wavelength is set by the ratio of the sediment flux and the erosion/deposition rate, a ratio which increases linearly with the wind velocity. We show that this scaling law, in agreement with experiments, originates from an interfacial layer separating the saltation zone from the static sand bed, where momentum transfers are dominated by mid-air collisions. Finally, we provide quantitative support for the use the propagation of these ripples as a proxy for remote measurements of sediment transport.Comment: 21 pages, 12 figure

    Active dry granular flows: rheology and rigidity transitions

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    The constitutive relations of a dense granular flow composed of self-propelling frictional hard particles are investigated by means of DEM numerical simulations. We show that the rheology, which relates the dynamical friction ÎĽ\mu and the volume fraction Ď•\phi to the inertial number II, depends on a dimensionless number A\mathcal{A}, which compares the active force to the confining pressure. Two liquid/solid transitions -- in the Maxwell rigidity sense -- are observed. As soon as the activity is turned on, the packing becomes an `active solid' with a mean number of particle contacts larger than the isostatic value. The quasi-static values of ÎĽ\mu and Ď•\phi decrease with A\mathcal{A}. At a finite value of the activity At\mathcal{A}_t, corresponding to the isostatic condition, a second `active rigidity transition' is observed beyond which the quasi-static values of the friction vanishes and the rheology becomes Newtonian. For A>At\mathcal{A}>\mathcal{A}_t, we provide evidence for a highly intermittent dynamics of this 'active fluid'.Comment: 7 pages, 7 figures, final version, accepted for publication in Europhys. Let

    Capillarity of soft amorphous solids: a microscopic model for surface stress

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    The elastic deformation of a soft solid induced by capillary forces crucially relies on the excess stress inside the solid-liquid interface. While for a liquid-liquid interface this "surface stress" is strictly identical to the "surface free energy", the thermodynamic Shuttleworth equation implies that this is no longer the case when one of the phases is elastic. Here we develop a microscopic model that incorporates enthalpic interactions and entropic elasticity, based on which we explicitly compute the surface stress and surface free energy. It is found that the compressibility of the interfacial region, through the Poisson ratio near the interface, determines the difference between surface stress and surface energy. We highlight the consequence of this finding by comparing with recent experiments and simulations on partially wetted soft substrates

    Elastocapillary instability under partial wetting conditions: bending versus buckling

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    The elastocapillary instability of a flexible plate plunged in a liquid bath is analysed theoretically. We show that the plate can bend due to two separate destabilizing mechanisms, when the liquid is partially wetting the solid. For contact angles θe>π/2\theta_e > \pi/2, the capillary forces acting tangential to the surface are compressing the plate and can induce a classical buckling instability. However, a second mechanism appears due to capillary forces normal to surface. These induce a destabilizing torque that tends to bend the plate for any value of the contact angle θe>0\theta_e > 0. We denote these mechanisms as "buckling" and "bending" respectively and identify the two corresponding dimensionless parameters that govern the elastocapillary stability. The onset of instability is determined analytically and the different bifurcation scenarios are worked out for experimentally relevant conditions.Comment: 12 pages, 13 figure

    Transition from viscous to inertial regime in dense suspensions

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    Non-Brownian suspensions present a transition from Newtonian behavior in the zero-shear limit to a shear thickening behaviour at a large shear rate, none of which is clearly understood so far. Here, we carry out numerical simulations of such an athermal dense suspension under shear, at an imposed confining pressure. This set-up is conceptually identical to the recent experiments of Boyer and co-workers [Phys. Rev. Lett. 107,188301 (2011)]. Varying the interstitial fluid viscosities, we recover the Newtonian and Bagnoldian regimes and show that they correspond to a dissipation dominated by viscous and contact forces respectively. We show that the two rheological regimes can be unified as a function of a single dimensionless number, by adding the contributions to the dissipation at a given volume fraction.Comment: 4 pages, 3 figure
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