Relaxation at the Angle of Repose
We have investigated the distribution of avalanches which occur when the slope of a sandpile exceeds the metastable slope given by the angle of repose. In contradiction to recent models by Bak, Tang, and Wiesenfeld for the dynamics of granular systems, we do not observe power-law distributions. We also find that the slope of a sandpile decays as log(t) when vibrations are introduced. We propose a simple model for this effect.