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Triggering granular avalanches with ultrasound

Abstract : Granular flows triggered by vibration below the avalanche angle are ubiquitous in nature. However, the mechanism of triggering and the nature of the resulting flow are not fully understood. Here we investigate the triggering of the shear instability of granular layers by nanometer-amplitude ultrasound close to the static threshold. We find that such small-amplitude and high-frequency sound waves provoke unjamming, resulting in a self-accelerated inertial flow or a creeplike regime which stops flowing after the removal of ultrasound. We show that these effects are due to the reduction of interparticle friction at grain contacts by the shear acoustic lubrication. Our observations are consistent with the bistability inherent to velocity-weakening friction models [e.g., Jaeger et al., Europhys. Lett. 11, 619 (1990), 10.1209/0295-5075/11/7/007]. This work should help to understand the local and remote triggering of landslides and earthquakes by seismic waves.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, February 22, 2022 - 3:08:00 PM
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J. Léopoldès, X. Jia, A. Tourin, A. Mangeney. Triggering granular avalanches with ultrasound. Physical Review E , American Physical Society (APS), 2020, 102, p.1535-1581. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevE.102.042901⟩. ⟨insu-03584466⟩

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