Solving the mystery of booming sand dunes

Vriend, N. M. and Hunt, ML and Clayton, RW and Brennen, CE and Brantley, KS and Ruiz-Angulo, A (2007) Solving the mystery of booming sand dunes. Geophysical Research Letters, 34 (16). ISSN 0094–8276 DOI https://doi.org/10.1029/2007GL030276

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Abstract

[1] Desert booming can be heard after a natural slumping event or during a sand avalanche generated by humans sliding down the slip face of a large dune. The sound is remarkable because it is composed of one dominant audible frequency (70 to 105 Hz) plus several higher harmonics. This study challenges earlier reports that the dunes' frequency is a function of average grain size by demonstrating through extensive field measurements that the booming frequency results from a natural waveguide associated with the dune. The booming frequency is fixed by the depth of the surficial layer of dry loose sand that is sandwiched between two regions of higher compressional body wave velocity. This letter presents measurements of the booming frequencies, compressional wave velocities, depth of surficial layer, along with an analytical prediction of the frequency based on constructive interference of propagating waves generated by avalanching along the dune surface.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: NILAREP;
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
08 - Green Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Geophysical Research Letters
Volume: 34
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1029/2007GL030276
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 06 May 2020 17:04
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 17:04
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/4724

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