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Solitary wave behavior in sand dunes observed from space


, : Solitary wave behavior in sand dunes observed from space. Geophysical Research Letters 38.22

Although the dynamics of individual barchan dunes are well understood, their interactions are the subject of ongoing scientific interest and debate. Numerical and analog model predictions of shape-preserving binary dune collisions have been hard to test due to the long timescales over which such processes typically occur. This paper documents ten binary dune collisions in a 45-year time sequence of satellite images from the Bodele Depression in Chad. The observations confirm that when two barchan dunes collide, a transfer of mass occurs so that one dune appears to travel through the other unscathed, like a solitary wave.

US$19.90

DOI: 10.1029/2011gl049610


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