Crater formation in soils by raindrop impact
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The process of crater formation by the impact of water drops on soil, sand and various other target material was studied. Craters of various shapes and sizes were observed on different target materials or conditions, ranging from circumferential depression to completely hemispherical shape. Crater shape was dependent upon target material, its flow stress or shear strength and the presence and thickness of water on the surface. Between 5 and 22 per cent of impact energy was spent on cratering, but the relationship between crater volume and kinetic energy of a raindrop was curvilinear, indicating a lower efficiency of impact energy in removing target material as the energy increases. Impact impulse, on the other hand, showed a more linear relationship with crater volume, and the ratio of impulse over crater volume (I/V) remained constant for the entire range of drop sizes, impact velocities, and surface conditions used in this study. Surface shear strength, represented by the penetration depth of fall-cone penetrometer, appeared to be a key factor involved in this process. An equation was developed which related crater volume to cone penetration depth and impact impulse. Crater volume, which appeared to be a better indicator of the total amount of material dislodged by a raindrop than splash amount, can thus be predicted using this equation.
Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
© 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.. This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms [29(1):77-89], which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/esp.1014
HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY