Rheology of a wet, fragmenting granular flow and the riddle of the anomalous friction of large rock avalanches
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- NGI articles 
The effective friction coefficient of rock avalanches diminishes gradually as a function of the avalanche volume. Large rock avalanches can reach run-out distances as long as ten times the fall height, despite the fact that the physics of friction would indicate a run-out only a little greater than the fall height. Numerous suggestions have been put forward to explain this remarkable departure from the predictions of both small-scale experiments and basic theory. It is shown here that accounting for rock fragmentation within the avalanche in combination with the presence of water, leads to results in line with the data.