Internal erosion of chemically reinforced granular materials: a mathematical modeling approach


Correspondence to: Nadia Saiyouri, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, GeM-Institut de Recherche en Génie Civil et Mécanique, UMR CNRS 6183, 1 rue de la Noë BP 92101, 44321 Nantes, Cedex 3, France.



Internal erosion (IE) affects the stability of natural and reinforced materials by causing instability within their granular structure. The dislodgement and transport of eroded particles affect both the particulate concentration of eroding fluid and the pore network of eroded material. In this study, we examined these modifications using a transport model with a finite element code. First, IE tests on chemically reinforced sand columns were performed to obtain information about eroded material loss of mass, particulate concentration of effluent, porosity and permeability modifications, and existing IE stages. Second, based on experimental results, a mathematical one-dimensional model has been formulated to monitor the evolution and spatial distribution of erodible solids, fluidized particles, porosity, permeability, and seepage stresses. The model consists of a set of coupled nonlinear differential equations solved in sequence. It provides valuable information about the extent and the dynamics of structural changes, which can be used to estimate an IE time for the hydraulic work to reach failure. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.