Wake Induced Long Range Repulsion of Aqueous Dunes.

Bacik, KA and Lovett, S and Caulfield, C. P. and Vriend, N. M. (2020) Wake Induced Long Range Repulsion of Aqueous Dunes. Physical Review Letters, 124 (5). 054501. ISSN 0031-9007 ESSN: 1079-7114 DOI https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.124.054501

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.124.054501


Sand dunes rarely occur in isolation, but usually form vast dune fields. The large scale dynamics of these fields is hitherto poorly understood, not least due to the lack of longtime observations. Theoretical models usually abstract dunes in a field as self-propelled autonomous agents, exchanging mass, either remotely or as a consequence of collisions. In contrast to the spirit of these models, here we present experimental evidence that aqueous dunes interact over large distances without the necessity of exchanging mass. Interactions are mediated by turbulent structures forming in the wake of a dune, and lead to dune-dune repulsion, which can prevent collisions. We conjecture that a similar mechanism may be present in wind driven dunes, potentially explaining the observed robust stability of dune fields in different environments.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2019AREP; IA76
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
08 - Green Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Physical Review Letters
Volume: 124
Page Range: 054501
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.124.054501
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 06 May 2020 16:31
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 16:33
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/4727

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