Barchans are aeolian sand dunes that form where unidirectional winds blow on firm ground with limited sand supply. Although they have been analyzed for decades, the difficulty of conducting experiments in the field, due to the large lengthscale and timescale involved, is a considerable obstacle to understand their dynamics. However, crescentic patterns also appear underwater on a much smaller scale, allowing easier study. It is shown here that down-scaled solitary barchans can be created in the laboratory…
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