Rheological Properties of Simulated Debris Flows in the Laboratory Environment

by Chi-Hai Ling, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, United States,
Cheng-lung Chen, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, United States,
Chyan-Deng Jan, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulics/Hydrology of Arid Lands (H?AL)


Steady debris flows with or without a snout are simulated in a 'conveyor-belt' flume using dry glass spheres of a uniform size, 5 or 14 mm in diameter, and their rheological properties described quantitatively in constants in a generalized viscoplastic fluid (GVF) model. Close agreement of the measured velocity profiles with the theoretical ones obtained from the GVF model strongly supports the validity of a GVF model based on the continuum-mechanics approach. Further comparisons of the measured and theoretical velocity profiles along with empirical relations among the shear stress, the normal stress, and the shear rate developed from the 'ring-shear' apparatus determine the values of the rheological parameters in the GVF model, namely the flow-behavior index, the consistency index, and the cross-consistency index. Critical issues in the evaluation of such rheological parameters using the conveyor-belt flume and the ring-shear apparatus are thus addressed in this study.

Subject Headings: Fluid flow | Rheology | Flow simulation | Shear stress | Fluid velocity | Debris | Velocity profile

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