Dry Quicksand Photo Material








Sketch of the experimental setup:

Air is blown through a sintered plate to fluidize the sand in the container. By slowly but completely turning off the air-stream, the sand settles in a very loose packing.


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Experimental setup in the lab:

View of the upper part of the container in the lab. After fluidization the air-stream has been turned off and the sand is left to settle into a very loose packing (41 %).


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Six snapshots from a high speed image recording:

The snapshots correspond to (a) ball release, (b) sinking,

(c) disappearing, (d) void collapse, (e) jet, and (f) granular eruption.


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Final depth vs. mass:

The sand never supports weight; the final depth the ball reaches increases linearly with its mass.



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Jet height vs. mass:

There is a jet if the mass of the ball is larger than 28.5 g. This corresponds to a final depth which is approximately equal to the ball diameter.


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Depth vs. time:

The experimental results (blue curve) for the trajectory of the ball and the model prediction (red curve) are in almost perfect agreement.


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Dry Quicksand


See also the web pages of the research group:

Physics of Fluids Department of Science and Technology University of Twente The Netherlands