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Granular ripples under rotating flow: a new experimental technique for studying ripples in non-rotating, geophysical applications?

Publication Date
  • Q Science
  • Earth Science
  • Physics


A review of our research investigating a new pattern formation process in granular material underlying a rotating fluid is given. The purpose of this summary is to introduce the phenomenon to the geophysical research community and to draw attention to the potential practical benefits of our new experimental method. To this end, the applied and scientific advantages of the technique over traditional studies employing, for instance, water channels, are discussed for the first time. It is shown here that the system rotation in our new technique does not appear to affect the scaling law expressing the dependence of the ripple-pattern wavelength on the governing independent experimental parameters. This suggests that it may become possible to extrapolate appropriate results from rotating to non-rotating systems and, hence, to geophysical environments. Consequently, our new technique may find applications in the context of geophysical research on the formation of sedimentary granular ripple structures.

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