A microscopic study on soft rock erosion by using particle flow simulation

Y. W. Pan, J. J. Liao, P. C. Li, G. W. Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Few existing erosion models have looked into the micromechanics of rock erosion. This study made use of particle flow simulation to model the erosion process of soft rock in microscopic scale which may be regarded as a "virtual erosion test". In the simulation, rock material is modeled as a granular assemblage with inter-particle bonding; the erosion process is simulated as particles' release due to de-bonding. Saltating abrasion can be a consequence of gravel traveling along with water flow and striking on the riverbed; the impact results in the local failure and causes abrasion. The major factors affecting the erosion rate are examined through a series of virtual erosion tests. Simulated results show that more de-bonded particles may occur for a condition with higher impact speed, higher impact angle, larger gravel size, higher Young's modulus, or lower rock strength. It appears that particle flow simulation is able to capture the mechanism of abrasion by saltating gravel.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScour and Erosion
Number of pages11
Edition210 GSP
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2010
Event5th International Conference on Scour and Erosion - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: 7 Nov 201010 Nov 2010

Publication series

NameGeotechnical Special Publication
Number210 GSP
ISSN (Print)0895-0563


Conference5th International Conference on Scour and Erosion
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


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