Where does a cohesive granular heap break?textjournalArticleRestagnoFautBocquetLautCharlaixEaut10.1140/epje/i2004-10013-5In this paper, we consider the effect of cohesion on the stability of a granular heap and compute the maximum angle of stability of the heap as a function of the cohesion. We show that the stability is strongly affected by the dependence of the cohesion on the local pressure. In particular, this dependence is found to determine the localization of the failure plane. While for a constant adhesion force, slip occurs deep inside the heap, surface failure is obtained for a linear variation of the cohesion on the normal stress. Such a transition allows to interpret some recent experimental results on cohesive materials.Englishjournal1421771832004continuing1292-8941EUROPEAN PHYSICAL JOURNAL E