Observation of the whole process of interaction between barchans by flume experiments

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Abstract

[1] Through laboratory experiments generating unidirectional water flows, we examine the process of interaction between two moving barchans (sandy bed configurations in a crescentic plan-shape), which may take dozens of years for barchan dunes in the nature. Three types of the interaction were observed. The first type was absorption of two barchans into one. The second was that the upstream fast barchan rode on the downstream slow barchan and simultaneously a newly born barchan was ejected from the lee side of the slow barchan. The third was that the downstream slow barchan was split into two before the upstream fast barchan touched the downstream. The type of the interaction was determined by both relative and absolute size of two barchans.

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