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An exciting discovery… a hidden mathematical law governing giant sand ripples on Earth and Mars

If we can use prevailing weather conditions to explain the origin and migration of sand waves on planet Earth and beyond, that would be an important step.

An international multidisciplinary team comprising researchers from the University of Leipzig has gained new insights into grain formation in megaripples. their studies The joke is featured in Nature Communications.

As stated in a report For the “Science Alret” site, this was done after analyzing a wide range of sand samples collected from different places around the world, and the analyzes that were made on Mars and in the wind tunnel in the laboratory were taken into account.

Giant sand ripples have wavelengths ranging from 30 centimeters to several meters (Getty Images)

Uniform constant ratio between grain diameters

Giant sand ripples have wavelengths ranging from 30 centimeters to several metres. It also ranks between regular beach waves and dune waves.

Giant sand ripples are usually found on Earth and Mars, which is famous for its abundance of dust storms, and its sand consists of a unique mixture of coarse and fine grains.

Professor Klaus-Dieter Crowe from the Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of Leipzig in Press release He posted on the university’s website that this mixture “always looks the same, but is never the same because of the turbulence of the winds.”

When the wind blows through the sand, it creates huge ring-shaped basins as the fine grains push the coarse grains, which travel at different rates, to collect at the tops of the ripples, while the fine grains usually settle at the bottom of the rings.

To reach these findings, the study’s multidisciplinary team of geomorphologists and physicists from 3 universities in Germany, Palestine and China analyzed sand samples from around the world.

Giant sand ripples are a known phenomenon on the surface of the globe and on Mars (NASA)

The team compared their grain sizes and divided the diameters of the coarser grains by the diameters of the finer grains for each sample. They found that the result of the division process is a constant number each time.

The ripples usually consist of a coarse-grained surface that sits on top of an inner part of the finer grains. However, this mixture of grains is not always the same, and the winds blowing through the sand do not cause the ripples in the first place.

When the wind blows through the sand, the massive ripples are caused by the finer grains kicking the coarse grains, moving at different rates, and the coarse grains collecting on the crests of the ripples, while the fine grains usually settle in the troughs.

Giant sand ripples and time archive

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications on January 10, said that this number can be used to more reliably determine the category to which the newly discovered sand waves belong, in addition to describing the physical process through which the sand waves were formed.

The study team found that “the data set that included a wide range of geographical sources and environmental conditions supports the accuracy and robustness of this theoretical – unexpected – ratio between the diameters of sand grains.”

The researchers suggest that their calculations can be used to predict when giant sand ripples will form, and to look at past weather and climate conditions based on the sediments left by previous giant waves. The researchers also hope their discovery will help explain the formation of some of the mysterious new sand ripples recently observed on Mars.

“If we can use prevailing atmospheric conditions to explain the origin and migration of sand waves on Earth and beyond, that would be an important step,” says Katharina Tholen, a doctoral researcher at the University of Leipzig and lead author of the study. Fossils and remote sites on Earth, which are a complex archive of past climatic conditions.



Reference-www.aljazeera.net

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