Numerical Simulation of Non-Homogeneous Viscous Debris-Flows Based on the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) Method

Shu Wang, Anping Shu, Matteo Rubinato, Mengyao Wang, Jiping Qin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


Non-homogeneous viscous debris flows are characterized by high density, impact force and destructiveness, and the complexity of the materials they are made of. This has always made these
flows challenging to simulate numerically, and to reproduce experimentally debris flow processes. In this study, the formation-movement process of non-homogeneous debris flow under three different soil configurations was simulated numerically by modifying the formulation of collision, friction, and yield stresses for the existing Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) method. The results obtained by applying this modification to the SPH model clearly demonstrated that the configuration where fine and coarse particles are fully mixed, with no specific layering, produces more fluctuations and instability of the debris flow. The kinetic and potential energies of the fluctuating particles calculated for each scenario have been shown to be affected by the water content by focusing on small local areas. Therefore, this study provides a better understanding and new insights regarding intermittent debris flows, and explains the impact of the water content on their formation and movement processes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2314
Number of pages16
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Energy conversion
  • Intermittent debris flows
  • Non-homogeneous debris flow
  • Viscous coefficients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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