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Field studies of barchans--crescent-shaped dunes that propagate over solid ground under conditions of unidirectional wind--have long focused on the investigation of an equilibrium between sand transport by wind and the control of air flow by dune topography, which are thought to control dune morphology and kinematics. Because of the long timescale involved,(More)
We present in this paper a simplification of the dune model proposed by Sauermann et al. which keeps the basic mechanisms but allows analytical and parametric studies. Two kinds of purely propagative two dimensional solutions are exhibited: dunes and domes, which, by contrast to the former, do not show avalanche slip face. Their shape and velocity can be(More)
The linear stability analysis of the equations governing the evolution of a flat sand bed submitted to a turbulent shear flow predicts that the wavelength λ at which the bed destabilises to form dunes should scale with the drag length L drag = ρs ρ f d. This scaling law is tested using existing and new measurements performed in water (subaqueous ripples),(More)
The structure of the barchan field located between Tarfaya and Laayoune (Atlantic Sahara, Morroco) is quantitatively investigated and compared to that in La Pampa de la Joya (Arequipa, Peru). On the basis of field measurements, we show how the volume, the velocity and the output sand flux of a dune can be computed from the value of its body and horn widths.(More)
The wavelength at which a dune pattern emerges from a flat sand bed is controlled by the sediment transport saturation length, which is the length needed for the sand flux to adapt to a change of wind strength. The influence of the wind shear velocity on this saturation length and on the subsequent dune initial wavelength has remained controversial. In this(More)
To probe the microscopic balance of forces close to a moving contact line, the boundary conditions around viscous drops sliding down an inclined plane are investigated. At first, the variation of the contact angle as a function of the scale of analysis is discussed. The dynamic contact angle is measured at a scale of 6 mum all around sliding drops for(More)
Almost fifty years of investigations of barchan dunes morphology and dynamics is reviewed, with emphasis on the physical understanding of these objects. The characteristics measured on the field (shape, size, velocity) and the physical problems they rise are presented. Then, we review the dynamical mechanisms explaining the formation and the propagation of(More)
It is now an accepted fact that the size at which dunes form from a flat sand bed as well as their "minimal size" scales on the flux saturation length. This length is by definition the relaxation length of the slowest mode toward equilibrium transport. The model presented by Parteli, Durán, and Herrmann [Phys. Rev. E 75, 011301 (2007)] predicts that the(More)
Depending on the wind regime, sand dunes exhibit linear, crescent-shaped or star-like forms resulting from the interaction between dune morphology and sand transport. Small-scale dunes form by destabilization of the sand bed with a wavelength (a few tens of metres) determined by the sand transport saturation length. The mechanisms controlling the formation(More)