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Granular segregation in nature

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In this talk, I will present very recent (April 2014) geophysical measurements on the structure of a desert dune. Using Ground Penetrating Radar and sand pit analysis, we image the internal structure of a small (h = 5 m) mobile dune. The layering displays a regular fine pattern of cross-bedding, resulting from diurnal variations or segregation during avalanches on the slipface. Furthermore, a pattern of thicker, more humid, “organic layers” are apparent at irregular intervals and are most likely related to large rainfall events. I will continue with some results from laboratory experiments on avalanches that highlight and clarify the segregation phenomena we observe in nature.

This talk is part of the Geophysical and Environmental Processes series.

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