Postdocs' work on granular flow featured on cover of Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Dr Andrew Edwards (current postdoc) and Dr Sylvain Viroulet (Postdoc 2013-2016) have had their work on granular flow on erodible beds highlighted on the front cover of the Journal of Fluid Mechanics.

Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Journal of Fluid Mechanics

The article is featured on the front cover of Journal of Fluid Mechanics July 2017 - Volume 823 and is available open-access at

Andrew and Sylvain showed that when an avalanche of grains is released on an erodible bed of grains three distinct behaviours can be observed due to the subtle balance between erosion and deposition. The avalanche can (i) grow in size leaving an eroded trough behind it that increases in width with increasing downstream distance, (ii) it can decay, leaving an elevated channel that narrows with downstream distance, or (iii) it can propagate indefinitely maintaining its shape and leaving an incised trough and raised parallel levees on either side as shown in the adjacent figure. This research has important applications for the growth and decay of snow avalanches in alpine regions as well as implications for long run-out landslides.

Sylvain is now working in the Seismology Group at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP).

PhD projects following on from this work are still available from Dr Chris Johnson and Prof Nico Gray.

Further information can be found on the Journal of Fluid Mechanics blog:


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