Washboard road: near onset, slow motion

Washboard road: near onset

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Washboard road results from the instability of a granular surface under the action of rolling wheels. Here, a hard rubber wheel rolls on the edge of a rotating table covered with a bed of sand. The wheel suspension is simply a lever. The table is 1.2 m in diameter.

The movie shows the onset of the ripple pattern, which appears as a very small patch of bumps after a while. The movie is in slow motion.

Here are two more movies of a long view of the experiment, and of the fully developed ripple pattern.

Go here for downloadable versions of the movies in other formats.

See Washboard Road abstract for a publications about this effect.


Go to the Nonlinear Physics Group home page


The Experimental Nonlinear Physics Group, Dept. of Physics, University of Toronto,
60 St. George St. Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 1A7. Phone (416) 978 - 6810.