Learn More
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)
Barchans are crescentic dunes propagating on a solid ground. They form dune fields in the shape of elongated corridors in which the size and spacing between dunes are rather well selected. We show that even very realistic models for solitary dunes do not reproduce these corridors. Instead, two instabilities take place. First, barchans receive a sand flux at(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)
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)
Hierarchical crack patterns, such as those formed in the glaze of ceramics or in desiccated layers of mud or gel, can be understood as a successive division of two-dimensional domains. We present an experimental study of the division of a single rectangular domain in drying starch and show that the dividing fracture essentially depends on the domain size,(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)
Singing dunes, which emit a loud sound as they avalanche, constitute a striking and poorly understood natural phenomenon. We show that, on the one hand, avalanches excite elastic waves at the surface of the dune, whose vibration produces the coherent acoustic emission in the air. The amplitude of the sound (approximately 105 dB) saturates exactly when the(More)
We consider the deposition of a film of viscous liquid on a flat plate being withdrawn from a bath, experimentally and theoretically. For any plate speed U, there is a range of "thick" film solutions whose thickness scales like U{1/2} for small U. These solutions are realized for a partially wetting liquid, while for a perfectly wetting liquid the classical(More)