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Author Topic: How far does sound travel in sand?  (Read 3058 times)

Offline Sh4rd

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How far does sound travel in sand?
« on: 27/08/2012 23:28:38 »
Watching one of my favorite films/ books Dune I was just wondering how far sound actually travels in sand?. I would imagine that sand is a very good vibration damper as though its individual units are very hard solids the overall consistency seems like it would absorb vibration well.

So does anyone know roughly the answer? I realise that the different varietys of sand may make a difference so lets say Sahara desert sand.
« Last Edit: 27/08/2012 23:40:07 by chris »


 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: How far does sound travel in sand?
« Reply #1 on: 28/08/2012 07:08:32 »
Pockets of air such as bubbles tend to break up sound waves or shock waves.

So, I'm with you.  Dry sand is likely poor at transmitting sound.
Wet sand may transmit the sound somewhat better.

Sorry, I don't have any quantitative data.
 

Offline AllenG

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Re: How far does sound travel in sand?
« Reply #2 on: 28/08/2012 19:20:46 »
I think Herbert was referring to singing or booming sands when he wrote about drum sands.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/earth/booming-sands.html

I don't know how well a thumper would have worked however.  The ones in the Lynch film look as if they would have pile driven themselves into the ground more than anything else.
 

Offline imatfaal

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Re: How far does sound travel in sand?
« Reply #3 on: 29/08/2012 13:23:32 »
Firstly - no dissing the Dune novels - especially the proper early ones!  :-)  Secondly, Am I misremembering my David Attenborough - I seem to remember that some desert dwelling snakes and other predators hunt using the vibrations a/o shifting of the sand.  On a large enough scale sand acts as a fluid - yes/no?  If the wavelength of the sound is such that it treats the sand as a fluid then it will transmit the same as any other fluid - ie very well. OK - I realise that is grasping at straws....
 

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Re: How far does sound travel in sand?
« Reply #3 on: 29/08/2012 13:23:32 »

 

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