We review flows of dense cohesionless granular materials, with a special focus on the question of constitutive equations. We first discuss the existence of a dense flow regime characterized by enduring contacts. We then emphasize that dimensional analysis strongly constrains the relation between stresses and shear rates, and show that results from experiments and simulations in different configurations support a description in terms of a frictional visco-plastic constitutive law. We then discuss the successes and limitations of this empirical rheology in light of recent alternative theoretical approaches. Finally, we briefly present depth-averaged methods developed for free surface granular flows.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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