Hysteresis and metastability in a continuum sandpile model

J. P. Bouchaud, M. E. Cates, J. Ravi Prakash, S. F. Edwards

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We propose a new continuum description of the dynamics of sandpile surfaces, which involves two populations of grains: immobile and rolling. The latter move down the slope with a constant mean velocity and a certain dispersion constant. We introduce a simple bilinear form for the interconversion processes of sticking (below the angle of repose) and dislodgment (for greater slopes). We find a spinodal angle, larger than the angle of repose, at which the surface of a tilted immobile sandpile first becomes unstable to an infinitesimal perturbation. The effect of noise on our dynamical equations is briefly outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1982-1985
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes

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