Multiphase debris flow simulations with the discrete element method coupled with a lattice-boltzmann fluid
Document typeConference report
Rights accessOpen Access
Debris ﬂows are dangerous natural hazards that occur mainly in mountainous terrains after heavy rainfall, responsible for casualties and damages reported yearly worldwide. Their heterogeneous composition, with a viscoplastic ﬂuid and the presence of a relevant granular solid phase, leads to a non-trivial behaviour making them a challenging problem both for the physical description of the phenomena and for the design of eﬀective protection measures. A numerical model is developed, fully coupling the two phases. A Discrete Element approach is used for the description of the solid phase, with a realistic particle size distribution, while the ﬂuid phase is solved with a Lattice-Boltzmann Method. The eﬀect of shape on the rolling mechanism is included with a simpliﬁed model, as well as the eﬀects of non-Newtonian rheology and the presence of a free surface. The numerical results provide insight into complex segregation, transportation and sedimentation phenomena, essential for understanding and predicting the run-out mechanism of debris avalanches and their interaction with obstacles and retaining structures.
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