CFD-DEM Modeling of Piping Erosion Considering the Properties of Sands

Hui Tao, Junliang Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Internal erosion has been reported to account for about 50% of the dam and levee failures throughout the world. This paper presents a coupled computational fluid dynamics and discrete element method (CFD-DEM) approach to model piping erosion process in sandy soils. The soil-flow interactions are explained by exchanging the momentum exchange between the two phases. Specifically, flow forces such as buoyant force, drag force and viscous force are considered. The various stages of piping erosion including initial movement, progressive heave and total heave are captured. The required hydraulic gradients to activate the stages are found to be greater than the critical gradient determined by Terzarghi's theory. In addition, the required hydraulic gradients also change with soil properties including specific gravity and particle size distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-650
Number of pages10
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue number272 GSP
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event4th Geo-Chicago Conference: Sustainable Materials and Resource Conservation, Geo-Chicago 2016 - Chicago, United States
Duration: Aug 14 2016Aug 18 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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