Impact on soft sand: Void collapse and jet formation

Detlef Lohse, R.P.H.M. Bergmann, R. Mikkelsen, C. Zeilstra, Roger M. van der Meer, Michel Versluis, J.P. van der Weele, Martin Anton van der Hoef, J.A.M. Kuipers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

178 Citations (Scopus)
415 Downloads (Pure)


Very fine sand is prepared in a well-defined and fully decompactified state by letting gas bubble through it. After turning off the gas stream, a steel ball is dropped on the sand. On impact of the ball, sand is blown away in all directions ("splash") and an impact crater forms. When this cavity collapses, a granular jet emerges and is driven straight into the air. A second jet goes downwards into the air bubble entrained during the process, thus pushing surface material deep into the ground. The air bubble rises slowly towards the surface, causing a granular eruption. In addition to the experiments and the discrete particle simulations we present a simple continuum theory to account for the void collapse leading to the formation of the upward and downward jets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198003-1-198003-4
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • METIS-221017
  • IR-49050


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact on soft sand: Void collapse and jet formation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this