© 2005 American Physical Society
Published in Physical Review Letters, Vol. 94, No. 098002.


Granular simulations are used to probe the particle scale dynamics at short, intermediate, and long time scales for gravity-driven, dense granular flows down an inclined plane. On approach to the angle of repose, where motion ceases, the dynamics become intermittent over intermediate times, with strong temporal correlations between particle motions—temporally heterogeneous dynamics. This intermittency is characterized through large-scale structural events whereby the contact network periodically spans the system. A characteristic time scale associated with these processes increases as the stopped state is approached. These features are discussed in the context of the dynamics of supercooled liquids near the glass transition.