Experimental Study of Contact Erosion at a Granular Interface

  • R. BeguinEmail author
  • P. Philippe
  • Y.-H. Faure
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Series in Geomechanics and Geoengineering book series (SSGG, volume 11)


Contact erosion appears at the interface of two soil layers subject to a groundwater flow. Particles of the finer soil are eroded by the flow and transported through the pores of the coarser layer. Fluvial dykes are often exposed to this phenomenon. Small-scale experiments combining Refractive Index Matching medium, and Particle Image Velocimetry were carried out to measure the flow characteristics close to the interface between a porous medium and a sandy layer. Velocity and shear-stress distributions were obtained. They underline the spatial variability of stress exerted by the flow on the fine soil which is directly related to the variability of the pore geometry. These distributions can be helpful in better modelling contact erosion by going beyond the simple use of global mean values, such as Darcy velocity, as is usually proposed in the literature.


Internal erosion Granular interface Particle image velocimetry Refractive index matching Porous medium 



Authors acknowledge the financial support provided by EDF-CIH


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire d’étude des Transferts en Hydrologie et EnvironnementUniversité de GrenobleGrenoble Cedex 09France
  2. 2.EDF-Centre d’Ingénierie Hydraulique (CIH)Le Bourget du Lac CedexFrance
  3. 3.CEMAGREF d’Aix en ProvenceAix en Provence Cedex 5France

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