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The shape of barchan dunes

Authors

  • K. Kroy
  • S. Fischer
  • B. Obermayer

Journal

  • Journal Of Physics: Condensed Matter

Citation

  • J Phys Condens Matter 17 (14): S1229-S1235

Abstract

  • Barchans are crescent-shaped sand dunes forming in arid regions with unidirectional wind and limited sand supply. We report analytical and numerical results for dune shapes under different environmental conditions as obtained from the so-called 'minimal model' of aeolian sand dunes. The profiles of longitudinal vertical slices (i.e. along the wind direction) are analysed as a function of wind speed and sand supply. Shape transitions can be induced by changes of mass, wind speed and sand supply. Within a minimal extension of the model to the transverse direction the scale-invariant profile of transverse vertical cuts can be derived analytically.


DOI

doi:10.1088/0953-8984/17/14/012