Kenetic-theory Approach to the Nevado Del Ruiz 1985 Debris Flow

by Juan A. Garcia, McGill Univ, Montreal, Canada,
Stuart B. Savage, McGill Univ, Montreal, Canada,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


The Nevado del Ruiz 1985 debris flow was the worst disaster of its kind in this century, killing 22,000 people. By making an idealization of the debris flow material and the flow regime, some insights about the mechanical characteristics of the flow were derived. Equations of motion and boundary conditions for a flowing granular-fluid mixture, based on the kinetic theory for granular flow were extended to allow for drag forces resulting from the interstitial fluid that cushions interparticle collisions and particle-wall collisions. Frictional stresses produced when long term contacts occur and fluid turbulent fluctuations were introduced in the model. The numerical model predicts that the amount of material transported is the same order of magnitude as that estimated by field observation.

Subject Headings: Granular materials | Debris | Solids flow | Fluid flow | Numerical models | Equations of motion | Kinetics

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