Sand dunes are non-living things; say they are life-less. So they do not sense or think anything. Still, those dunes can contact with their neighbors and inform them they require space. Researchers from Cambridge University have discovered that as they travel, dunes communicate with and drive back their downline neighbors. As per the latest finding, the interaction between the sand-dunes enables them to avoid colliding with each other. Well, that may not be the communication, and they are not exactly buzzing traffic directions across the sweeping sands of a desert. But the air or water streams formed by a dune will regulate the activity of another to make sure that both have sufficient area to move.
Massive and long-term migration of dunes underwater, as well as on land, poses a risk to shipping channels. Even more, it may lead to increased desertification, which may eventually bury infrastructure like highways. Scientists say the discovery will assist them in determining this extensive dune migration. Karol Bacik, a Ph.D. contender in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics of Cambridge University, is the first author of the study. The researchers have published their findings in the journal Physics Revie Letters. Bacik said dunes are famous for moving around or travel, in oceans, rivers, and deserts. He added usually smaller dunes move quicker than the larger ones.
The researchers have used an experimental dune track to estimate the migration of dunes. As a result, they have discovered that two similar dunes begin near each other, but they get more and more apart with time. Even more, wild swirls from the upstream down control the interaction by pushing away the downstream dune. As per the researchers, the leading dune creates the turbulence outline that we notice on the rear dune. Besides, the stream arrangement behind the first dune is similar to the wake at the back of a boat. Notably, this flow structure affects the attributes of the subsequent dune. Scientists noted they have uncovered physics that has not been a portion of the prototype before. The future footstep for the study is to determine how the latest discovery regarding dune communication might offer effective ways to sidetrack massive dune migration.