Famous 'sandpile model' shown to move like a traveling sand dune

The so-called Abelian sandpile model has been studied by scientists for more than 30 years to better understand a physical phenomenon called self-organized criticality, which appears in many real-life situations such as the ...

Research helps in understanding the dynamics of dune formation

Crescent-shaped dunes called barchans are structures that appear in a wide variety of environments, including beaches and deserts, riverbeds and the seafloor, inside water pipes and oil pipelines, and on the surface of Mars ...

A theoretical analysis of sand mega-ripples

A team of researchers from several institutions in Germany and Israel has used theoretical analysis to explain the conditions under which mega-ripples form in areas where sand dunes rise. In their paper published in the journal ...

To shore up beaches, just add sand?

New research is shedding light on how mechanically placed sand on San Diego County beaches moves and its potential impacts. The study, published in the journal Coastal Engineering, could help planners develop beach nourishment ...

Chemistry can change the ingredients in planet formation

Planet and star formation starts with a lot of material collapsing, falling down onto itself because of gravity. In the middle of this, a protostar is being formed. This star will then start to get warm and eventually glow. ...

Every grain of sand is a metropolis for bacteria

Just imagine, you are sitting on a sunny beach, contentedly letting the warm sand trickle through your fingers. Millions of sand grains. What you probably can't imagine: at the same time, billions upon billions of bacteria ...

Where does the sand on Mars come from?

This image from NASA's Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter (MRO) shows one possible place where sand grains are being produced on Mars today. Discovered in images from the Context Camera, this region exhibits dark material that is ...

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

Dipping a tube into a container filled with water will make the water rise in the tube. This phenomenon is called liquid capillarity. It is responsible for many natural and technical processes, for example the water absorption ...

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