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Multiscale Clustering in Granular Surface Flows

Abstract : We investigate steady granular surface flows in a rotating drum and demonstrate the existence of rigid clusters of grains embedded in the flowing layer. These clusters appear to be fractal and their size is power law distributed from the grain size scale up to the thickness of the flowing layer. The implications of the absence of a characteristic length scale on available theoretical models of dense granular flows are discussed. Finally, we suggest a possible explanation of the difference between velocity profiles observed in surface flows and in flows down a rough inclined plane.
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Daniel Bonamy, François Daviaud, Louis Laurent, Marco Bonetti, Jean-Philippe Bouchaud. Multiscale Clustering in Granular Surface Flows. Physical Review Letters, American Physical Society, 2002, 89, pp.034301. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevLett.89.034301⟩. ⟨cea-01373873⟩

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