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Publication Detail
Solitary wave behavior in sand dunes observed from space
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Vermeesch P
  • Publication date:
    01/11/2011
  • Journal:
    Geophysical Research Letters
  • Volume:
    38
  • Issue:
    22
  • Status:
    Published
  • Print ISSN:
    0094-8276
Abstract
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 Bodélé 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. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.
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