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Sand Boil Phenomenon Explanation and How to Overcome

by Grace Sabathya

Almost in every region located between the tectonic plates meeting will surely experience a vibration, commonly referred to as an earthquake. The vibrations or earthquakes come from movements between the earth’s plates that collide with each other or even apart. Apart from frequent earthquakes, in general the area above the meeting point of the earth’s plates is characterized by volcanoes. And most of the volcanoes are still in active status. Not only that, some regions also have hot springs where the hot water comes from the heating process due to the activity of magma from the bowels of the earth.

Speaking of earthquakes, most of us have experienced them. There are two types of earthquakes, namely volcanic earthquakes which are earthquakes originating from volcanoes and also tectonic earthquakes which are earthquakes from the movement of earth plates. Earthquakes can also be a sign of the emergence of various other natural phenomena, such as the example of a tsunami. For people who live not far from the shoreline, they must be worried and anxious about natural disasters such as tsunamis. No wonder most will run away from the lips of the orphanage to go up to higher ground. Although not all of these earthquakes cause tsunamis.

Aside from being a sign of a tsunami, an earthquake can also be a sign of the emergence of other natural disasters, as happened in South Sulawesi. At that time on September 28, 2018 there was an earthquake and a tsunami in Palu. But in some areas experiencing other natural phenomenon, namely liquifaction. Liquifaction is the process of dissolving solids into liquid. As a result of the earthquake, groundwater that was underground also swayed and caused the soil to become liquid until it finally dissolved. It is not surprising if objects on the ground such as houses, vehicles and trees will move even some of them enter the ground.

Natural liquifaction phenomenon usually occur in soils that have a sandy texture. The soil is saturated with water and easily submerged in water. So when there is a shock or earthquake, the water has a greater pressure so that it can move in the form of a push against the sand or the land that is not bound.

Besides liquifaction of other natural phenomenon that can occur due to an earthquake, there is sand boil phenomenon. Maybe some of us are still quite familiar with the term. This is caused by the natural phenomenon of sand boil which is quite rare in Indonesia. In this article we are going to dig deeper about sand boil phenomenon explanation and how to overcome. But that doesn’t mean there is no possibility of emergence, rather recently there has been a natural sand boil phenomenon in Ambon City. Now we’re gonna find out more about sand boil phenomenon explanation and how to overcome.

What is Sand Boil?

Shortly after the magnitude 6.8 earthquake in Ambon, several large holes appeared. According to local residents, the number of holes is quite large and spread in the residents’ villages and the coast close to the village. From inside the hole comes water mixed with soil and sand when an earthquake occurs.

This natural phenomenon can be explained scientifically. According to the Head of the Data and Information Section of the Meteorology Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) at Ambon Station, Andi Azhar Rusdin said that the natural phenomenon was the result of a fairly large earthquake and shook the area.

As a result of the earth’s quarters came bursts known as the sand boil phenomenon. Sand boil phenomenon or also known as sand blast occurs because when an earthquake happens there is an open or split fracture at the bottom of the footing zone.

These events include ordinary natural phenomena as a secondary impact of a large earthquake. The occurrence of sand boils is usually accompanied by bursts, this is because there are zones that have fractured at the subsurface. When a fracture occurs due to an earthquake, ground water also moves due to pressure from below, ground water gushes out along with sand material that passes through the pores of the soil.

The sand boil phenomenon itself does not only occur in Indonesia. Sand boils are also known as sand volcanoes. In a simple sand boil phenomenon is the occurrence when ground water under pressure comes out to penetrate the sandy layer. Ground water that comes out will look like boiling (boiling) and mixed with sand.

The sand boil phenomenon itself can be a sign that an area has the potential to experience liquifaction or failure on the embankment during a flood. The failure of the embankment is usually caused by differences in pressure on one side of the embankment or both during floods. Flooding is most likely to cause internal erosion resulting in displacement of soil particles and making natural channels pass through embankments. The channel can form quite quickly and have an impact on damage or failure on the embankment.

How to deal with the Sand Boil Phenomenon

Please note if the sand boil cannot be stopped. However, there is one of the most effective methods, which is to make a body of water on a sand boil to make enough pressure so that it blocks the flow of water out. Slowing water flow will be able to make the movement of soil particles become slower or even stop its movement. This water body is usually made using sand that is put into a sack and then placed around a sand boil.

This was done by the United State Army Corps of Engineers during the floods in the spring of 2011 ago. They have to work hard to deal with sand boils that have sizes of around 30 to 40 feet. The sand boil is in the City of Cairo, Illinois precisely at the meeting between Sungi Mississipi and the Ohio River.

That is the sand boil phenomenon explanation and how to overcome it. Hope it can be useful.

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