Delayed transitions between fluid-like and solid-like granular states

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Analysis of granular flows has been a significant theoretical challenge over the past several decades. These flows are difficult to analyze largely because they exhibit both solid-like and fluid-like behaviors side-by-side in single experiments. In this paper, we examine two experiments in which the co-existence between these states is especially marked and leads to unique patterns that may serve as signatures for underlying granular dynamics deserving of further scrutiny. In these experiments, we find that when fluidization of grains is prolonged - as can be expected to occur for example under reduced gravity environments or under conditions of strong kinetic forcing (e.g. during earthquakes) - grains can produce residual depositional patterns that are difficult to distinguish from fluvial deposits. This suggests that geological landforms under low gravity (for example on Mars) or influenced by strong forcing (for example during earthquakes) may behave in a fluid-like manner despite being entirely dry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-217
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Physical Journal E
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Surfaces and Interfaces


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