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Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Quick Sand in the garden.

I went to Lowe's, Dollar Store, WalMart and Mexican restaurant for lunch. When I returned home I discovered I forgot to turn off the soaker hose. Water was on for 3 hours instead of 15 minutes. When I try to walk across my garden I fall in to my knees. The sandy soil looks a little damp on the surface but it is like liquid. I can't even walk across the garden without falling in knee deep. Arizona soil is weird.


Green Thumb
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Location: Pacific Northwest, Zone 8, 48" annual rainfall, dry summers.

Now you just have to keep an eye out for ROUSes...


Super Green Thumb
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I'm thinking more like Sandworms.

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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

All kidding aside, that must have been a shock. I'm glad you are not saying you got hurt from falling like that.

Have you been able to figure out what caused the phenomenon? Is it really loose liquid sand or was there an underground tunnel made by some animal or other?

Was there a tremor or anything? I saw a program on a science channel about a huge machine that simulates tremors which helps in studying the quicksand/mud -- ugh I can't remember the proper name! -- effect caused by ground vibrations of earthquakes and how this machine can also help to solidify ground that has potential to become liquid in the event on an earthquake.

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Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

I had 3 people tell me to watch out for quick sand in the desert after a thunder store. I thought they were joking me. I figure it must be an Arizona prank they play on people that don't know any better. As it turns out they were serious about quick sand but I still did not believe them.

A mountain is solid rock and when it rains water comes down the mountain like the worlds largest house roof. Water forms a small river that runs across the desert like a river leaving what people here call a wash. A wash is where the water washes the sand away leaving a ditch about 10 ft deep 20 ft wide. When the storm is over the water is gone 30 minutes later. The bottom of the wash looks dry but the sand is full of water causing it to be quick sand.

The best way to explain it scientifically is, everything weighs less in water even sand, water takes the place of air in the soil, when you step on the soil I assume the water just squishes to the side of your shoes taking the sand with it. I assume it is a little bit like stepping in wet snow it squishes away.

After I turned off my soaker hose the soil was like quick sand for about 1 hour. After that the soil was very soft for a while maybe another hour or so. Then the soil was solid again almost as solid as dry sand. I guess it took a couple of hours for the water to go away.

This is what Wikipedia says about quick sand.

Here is what HowStuffWorks says about quick sand. ... ksand1.htm

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Location: Virginia, 7a

gumbo2176 wrote:I'm thinking more like Sandworms.

All that moisture would kill them!

Washes are no joke. They always told us to stay out of them, but kids love them for some reason.... I saw an article a few months back about some kids who were in one when it flooded and emergency personnel had to rescue them.

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