Abstract by Eric Lenhart
Physics and Astronomy
How self-organizing ripples form across particulate surfaces
We investigated how air flow forms self-organizing patterns such as ripples across loose particulate surfaces. In particular, we analyzed various models of sand transport--particularly Nishimori’s Model--and noted the effects of altering various parameters. By varying the saltation length, multiple simultaneous modes in the wavelength were observed in the simulation and confirmed empirically near Pavante Butte, Utah. Y-junctions were also measured to determine the consensus and frustration of the model. As an additional use of the model, I measured terrestrial gravel ripples in the Lut Desert, Iran, finding an average length of 50.0 m and a right-skewed distribution. Using these data, I demonstrate that for these gravel ripples, particle movement has a larger dependence on initial height than for smaller, more common sand ripples.