A micromechanical approach of suffusion based on a length scale analysis of the grain detachment and grain transport processes.
1 AgroParisTech-ENGREF, 19 avenue du Maine, 75732 Paris, France.
2 Irstea UR RECOVER, 3275 Rte Cézanne, CS 40061, 13182 Aix-en-Provence Cedex 5, France.
3 Université Grenoble Alpes, Irstea, UR ETGR, 2 rue de la Papeterie - BP 76, F-38402 St-Martin-d’Hères, France.
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Published online: 30 June 2017
Suffusion is the selective erosion of the finest particles of a soil subjected to an internal flow. Among the four types of internal erosion and piping identified today, suffusion is the least understood. Indeed, there is a lack of micromechanical approaches for identifying the critical microstructural parameters responsible for this process. Based on a discrete element modeling of non cohesive granular assemblies, specific micromechanical tools are developed in a unified framework to account for the two first steps of suffusion, namely the grain detachment and the grain transport processes. Thanks to the use of an enhanced force chain definition and autocorrelation functions the typical lengths scales associated with grain detachment are characterized. From the definition of transport paths based on a graph description of the pore space the typical lengths scales associated with grain transport are recovered. For a uniform grain size distribution, a separation of scales between these two processes exists for the finest particles of a soil
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
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