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Hoping in the wind.

Hopping in the wind

The details of how the wind carries sand from place to place have important consequences for the study of processes such as wind-driven soil erosion, sediment transport on Mars, the formation of sand dunes and the wearing away or polishing of rocks. Various wind-tunnel studies and other investigations over the last few decades have shown that particles the size of typical sand grains travel in the wind principally by hopping, or saltation. The wind whisks these particles into the air, carrying them for a short distance. At the end of a hop, the grains hit the sand bed, rebounding or splashing out other grains to be carried along further by the wind.

In the Aug. 12 SCIENCE, Robert S. Anderson of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Peter K. Haff of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena describe computer simulations that closely mimic the behavior of blowing sand. Their analysis shows the effect of saltating grains on wind velocity and demonstrates the importance of splashing in keeping sand grains in the air.
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Title Annotation:research on how wind carries grains of sand
Publication:Science News
Date:Sep 17, 1988
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