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Researchers bulldoze desert to learn how sand dunes form

Phys.org/news (JANUARY 13, 2014 )

Titre : Researchers bulldoze desert to learn how sand dunes form

A team made up of members from research facilities in France and China has found that theoretical models built to describe sand dune formation align very closely with how they actually form in nature. In their paper published in Nature Geoscience, the team describes how they bulldozed a section of desert and then watched as sand dunes formed over a three and a half year period.

Phys.org/news (JANUARY 13, 2014 )

Présentation
Understanding how sand dunes form is difficult—trying to replicate the process in a lab grows unwieldy and models created using computers are difficult to prove correct. For that reason, little is known about how sand dunes actually form—finding out is important for both historical purposes here on Earth, and for better understanding atmospheric conditions on other planets.

To gain a better perspective on how sand dunes form the research team used a bulldozer to flatten three separate parcels of sand covered desert land in Inner Mongolia—one parcel was open allowing wind carried sand to enter, another was not, and the third was covered in gravel. The team set up cameras to record the action as nature took over forming new dunes.

In the part of the desert under study, the team noted that the wind comes primarily from two different directions during different times of the year—sometimes from the west, sometimes from the southeast. The team was curious as to how the differing periods of wind, both of which carried sand, would influence dune formation.

Source  : Bob Yirka , Phys.org

Annonce (Phys.org/news)

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