ESR14 Miguel Angel Cabrera

Research project description

Experimental modelling of debris flows

Fellow:                      Miguel Angel Cabrera

Department:            Department of Civil Engineering and Natural Hazards. University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna.

Supervisor:              Univ.Prof. Dr.Ing. Wei Wu

In mountain areas after intense periods of rain or ice melting seasons, the saturation of slopes leads to mass flows involving high destructive forces, acting on large volumes of soil, water, and vegetation. A better understanding of the debris flow motion will lead to an improvement in prevention systems, save lives, properties, and protect productive land.

This project aims to clarify, through experimental modelling, the mechanics of flow and impact forces involved in debris flow motion, taking into account the effects of mixture components (fluid and solid phase) and the related macro and micro behaviours.

The project conceives and develops a physical test routine in a scaled debris flow model in a geotechnical centrifuge and in a rotating drum. The scaled debris flow model will enable to measure the motion pattern and acting stresses during flow of a granular mixture. The rotating drum tests aim to characterize the dynamic behaviour of the granular mixtures, placing special attention to particle size distribution and viscous effects of the fluid phase (Fig. 1).

The analysis of granular flows on the rotating drum is being validated in a DEM model with the cooperation of MUMOLADE fellow Alessandro Leonardi (ESR 9). Future cooperation research will be intended to validate the mechanics of viscous flows with the collaboration of Xiannan Meng (ESR 10) and Pablo Becker (ESR 11), and the incidence of scaling laws in centrifuge modelling will be analysed with Vasileios Matziaris (ESR 13).

 ESR14 Miguel Angel Cabrera

Figure 1. PIV analysis of clay spheres in a rotating drum (using PIVlab). Yellow lines show the mean iso-velocities of the spheres during flow.

ESR14 Miguel Angel Cabrera