geology, soil mechanics

Quicksand is not a special type of sand. It is a hydrogeological phenomenon. Quicksand occurs when an upward hydraulic gradient reaches a critical level, at around 1.0 meters/meter. What happens is that gravitational forces in the soil mass are balanced by upward seepage force. The inter-granular strength of the soil particles drops to zero, and the soil is said to be in the quick condition. If the critical gradient is exceeded, the surface will appear to be "boiling" as the particles are moved by the upward flow of water. In the natural environment, quicksand is commonest at the bottom of hills. It can also occur where a confined aquifer has surface contact.

Quicksand is a natural phenomenon, but it can occur in engineered soil works, such as near sheet pilings. In engineered earth structures, appearance of quicksand (e.g. downstream of an earth dam) can signify a design or construction fault as well as the impending catastrophic failure of the structure. It is a very bad sign.
The following are a few myths about quicksand:

Quicksand sucks you down like a vacuum cleaner. In fact, quicksand doesn't pull you down any more than a swimming pool does. Quicksand is more buoyant than water, so it's actually easier to float in quicksand than in a swimming pool.

Quicksand is a bottomless pit. Most patches of quicksand are a few inches to a few feet deep.

Quicksand is always made of sand. In addition to sand, clay, swamps, and silt can all become what scientists call "quick."

Quicksand occurs when water is present and flowing through an earth material. The water travels through pore spaces and lifts and moves material making the sediment act as a liquid.

If you do fall into quicksand, remember not to panic. You'll probably only sink a few feet. Swim or walk to solid ground.
Lifted and adapted from
Quicksand was an alternative metal/punk band.

They had a sound that influenced many post-stuff bands like At The Drive-In and Thursday.

Quicksand formed in 1990 out of the hardcore scene in New York. The band was Walter Schreifels (guitar/vocals), Tom Capone (guitar), Alan Cage (drums) and bassist Serigo Vega.

The band (like most influencial bands) was only around for a few years. They released two albums; 1993's "Slip" and 1995's "Manic Compression". After touring for "Manic COmpression" the band disbanded. They rejoined unfruitfully a few years later, but this only lasted for a little bit.

The band was amazing for thir combination of punk and metal, creating a semi-grunge sound. They were far more hardcore than most grunge bands however.


(1990) "Quicksand (ep)"
(1993) "Slip"
(1995) "Manic Compression"

Quick"sand` (?), n.

Sand easily moved or readily yielding to pressure; especially, a deep mass of loose or moving sand mixed with water, sometimes found at the mouth of a river or along some coasts, and very dangerous, from the difficulty of extricating a person who begins sinking into it.

Life hath quicksands, -- Life hath snares! Longfellow.


© Webster 1913.

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