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Quick-Sand

water and sand

QUICK-SAND, a tract of loose sand mixed with water which will not support heavy bodies. In appearance quick-sands do not differ from the adjacent sands. They usually occur on flat shores underlain by stiff clay or other impervious materials and especially near the mouths of large rivers. They appear to be formed by the continued collection of water within the sand bank which is prevented from running off by the underlying impervious layer. The water which infiltrates the sand may be supplied, either by a river current, directed against the concave shore or spreading over a sea-beach; by tides which at their ebb leave be hind them imprisoned bodies of water; or by sea-currents running through narrow channels and forcing the water against the adjacent shore. The grains of quick-sand have rounded surfaces, as distinguished from angular or (sharp) sand. It is, moreover, of very light weight. The infiltrated water separates and

lubricates the particles, rendering them un stable and unable to support a heavy weight, such as the body of a man. They have obtained a great reputation for treaohery and especially because they cannot be distinguished at sight. The subject has been drawn upon considerably in literature, notably in Hugo's (Toilers of the Sea,' in Wilkie Collins' (Moon stone> and in the