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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 49 No. 3, p. 547-552
    Received: July 6, 1984
    Accepted: Nov 6, 1984

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Single Waterdrop Splash Detachment and Mechanical Properties of Soils1

  1. M. A. Nearing and
  2. J. M. Bradford2



This study was an assessment of the use of soil mechanical properties to predict soil detachment by single waterdrop impact. Soil mechanical properties were measured on four soils with a triaxial consolidated-undrained compression test and a Swedish fall-cone device. The weight of soil detached was measured for 5.7-mm diameter drops falling a distance of 13 m. The results indicated that strength and pre-failure deformational properties, as measured by the triaxial test alone, were not good predictors of soil resistance to splash. As previously reported, soil splash weight was a linear function of the ratio of waterdrop kinetic energy to fall-cone strength on a per soil basis, but the slope of the line differed among soils. The slopes were, however, greater for soils with greater consolidated, undrained friction angles as determined in the triaxial test and expressed in terms of total stresses. Therefore, the fall-cone strength term was reduced as a function of the triaxial friction angle, and detachment was plotted versus the ratio of raindrop kinetic energy to the corrected fall-cone strength term. The resultant relationship was linear with the same slope for all four soils. This result was explained in terms of our current understanding of the soil splash mechanism. The fall-cone alone predicts the initial splash phase of cavity formation upon impact, but overpredicts the resistance of the soil to subsequent lateral jetting of water.

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