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Name: Doran
Status: other
Grade: other
Location: SC
Country: USA
Date: Summer 2011


Question:
Why does a dirt road develop "wash-boarding?" I live on a dirt road. A road scraper comes through periodically and smoothes the road. Within a week, the road will have a wash-board effect that is very bumpy and violent on a vehicles suspension.



Replies:
The quick answer is the cause is none of the causes you might think. "Washboarding", as it is called, is really pretty complicated, even though it has been studied seriously. A recent site provides details that are too long for NEWTON response. See:

http://perso.ens-lyon.fr/nicolas.taberlet/washboard/

There are a number of other sites if you Google "washboarding".

Vince Calder



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