Slow creep in soft granular packings
Transient creep mechanisms in soft granular packings are studied numerically using a constant pressure and constant stress simulation method. Rapid compression followed by slow dilation is predicted on the basis of a logarithmic creep phenomenon. Characteristic scales of creep strain and time exhibit a power-law dependence on jamming pressure, and they diverge at the jamming point. Microscopic analysis indicates the existence of a correlation between rheology and nonaffine fluctuations. Localized regions of large strain appear during creep and grow in magnitude and size at short times. At long times, the spatial structure of highly correlated local deformation becomes time-invariant. Finally, a microscale connection between local rheology and local fluctuations is demonstrated in the form of a linear scaling between granular fluidity and nonaffine velocity.