Research Article Open Access

Physical Characterizations of Sands and Their Influence in Fall Velocity

Ruiz-Martinez Gabriel, Mendoza-Baldwin Edgar and Silva-Casarín Rodolfo


Cancun beach is one of the most important tourist resorts on the Mexican coast, and is of prime importance to the local and national economies. As a result of the intense use of the beach and the unavailability of sand reserves, the extreme weather events that occur in the region (hurricanes) have permanently damaged the beach. Over the last two decades several strong hurricanes severely weakened the system, but hurricane Wilma, October 2005, caused devastating erosion to the beach. After Wilma, an emergency nourishment project was implemented pumping a volume of 2.7 million m3 of sand onto the beach. Clearly, the sand used for the nourishment has a different shape factor, diameter distribution and density property compared to the native sand. The main goal of this paper is to characterize and compare the fall velocities of sand samples taken in and around Cancun. The settling velocities obtained for several samples were compared with the empirical formulations proposed by various authors. The influence of several parameters measured in the laboratory is discussed and a new formulation is presented.

American Journal of Environmental Sciences
Volume 4 No. 3, 2008, 238-244


Submitted On: 16 July 2007 Published On: 30 June 2008

How to Cite: Gabriel, R., Edgar, M. & Rodolfo, S. (2008). Physical Characterizations of Sands and Their Influence in Fall Velocity. American Journal of Environmental Sciences, 4(3), 238-244.

  • 8 Citations



  • Settling velocity
  • Cancun sands
  • sediment physical properties