An experimental study of multiple grain-size ejecta produced by collisions of saltating grains with a flat bed



Collision data are presented from coloured high-speed films of three size fractions of sand grains saltating over a bed of the total grain population. Each fraction was colour tagged and the proportion of each size ejected by grains colliding with the surface was recorded on a number of films taken as the bed was progressively eroded. The results confirm earlier findings that V3/V1≅0.5–0.6, Vn/V1≅.08 and the rebound angle increases with decreasing grain size. Ejected grains are examined in relation to their size, the impactor size, ejection speed and angle and the number of ejecta per collision. In addition, changes in grain parameters are observed with time. For fine impactors, ejection speeds generally increase with a decrease in ejecta size, but the fine fraction does not follow this trend for the coarse and medium impactors. Ejection angles are typically between 40° and 60°, with coarse grains having shallower mean angles than fine ejecta. The number of ejections per collision increases with a decrease in particle size for each impactor size. The general tendency for coarse particles to be ejected at lower speeds and shallower angles than fine particles will lead to sorting of the grain sizes. There is poor correlation between the forward momentum loss of the saltating grams at collision and both the forward momentum of the ejected grains and the number of ejected grains. Much of the forward momentum of the saltating grains is transfered to creeping grains. The composition and geometry of the bed are considered to be important factors in the evolution of the saltation cloud.