What Quicksand Is

Issue 20 and Volume 68.

What Quicksand Is The very interesting paper by Charles R. Gow printed on another page of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING of this week treats of that bane of the water works man who has excavation on his hands—quicksand. Contrary to the general opinion on the subject, Mr. Gow shows that quicksand is not essentially a material, but rather a condition. In other words it is any kind of sand, the grains of which have become separated by and suspended in water. While naturally fine sand is more susceptible to the influx of water Mr. Gow shows that any variety, no matter how coarse—given the right conditions—will become “quick” and unstable and bulky objects will sink into it by their weight. All that is required to cause this condition is the mixing of sufficient water with the sand to separate the grains and hold them sufficiently suspended to prevent cohesiveness. The…

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