Barchan dunes: why they cannot be treated as ‘solitons’ or ‘solitary waves’



Schwämmle and Herrmann (Nature, 2003, vol. 426, p. 619) have suggested that two sub-aerial barchan sand dunes could ‘pass through one another while still preserving their shape’ in a manner similar to solitons or solitary waves. A wide range of published field and wind tunnel evidence suggests that this assertion should not go unchallenged. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.