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Title: Singing sands, booming dune sands, and the stick-slip effect
Authors: Patitsas, A. J.
Issue Date: 5-May-2011
Abstract: The origin of the acoustic and seismic emissions from impacted singing grains and from avalanching dune sand grains is sought in modes of vibration in discreet grain columns. It is postulated that when the grains in a column are pressed together, elastic shear bands are formed at the contact areas with distinct elastic properties. The central part of such contact shear bands, where the stress level is maximum, is more in a liquid-like rather than in a solid-like state, resulting in very low elastic moduli. In a given column, the elastic moduli would assume the lowest values just below the impacting pestle and higher values further below. The transfer of energy from the pestle to the modes of vibration of such columns is effected by the stick-slip effect. The concept of grain flowability is used to justify the great disparity between the acoustic emissions from impacted singing grains and from avalanching dune sand grains. The concept of grain columns is assumed to apply in the avalanching sand band, but with larger length to justify the lower frequencies. The concept of contact shear bands can be used to justify the variation of the emission frequency with blade speed and pile height when a grain pile is pushed by a blade. Finally, this approach can provide explanations as to why ordinary sands do not sing, and why singing sands do not boom and booming sands do not sing.
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