Sand ripple dynamics in the case of out-of-equilibrium aeolian regimes
Laboratoire de Spectrométrie Physique, Université Joseph Fourier (CNRS), BP 87, 38402, Grenoble I, Saint-Martin d’Héres Cedex, France
2 Groupe Matiére Condensée et Matériaux, UMR 6626, Université de Rennes 1, 35042, Cedex Rennes, France
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From a phenomenological hydrodynamical model, we analyze the aeolian sand ripple evolution in an out-of-equilibrium aeolian regime where erosion exceeds accretion (and vice versa). We find, in particular, that the ripple structure can be destroyed in favor of a flat sand bed. In the ripple regime we report on a new class of generic dynamics described by the Benney equation. This equation reveals either order or disorder depending on whether wave dispersion is strong or weak. In both cases, the average wavelength of the pattern is fixed in time. This markedly contrasts with the regime of equilibrium aeolian regime -reached when erosion balances deposition- where ripples undergo a coarsening process at long time (i.e., the wavelength increases indefinitely with time).
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, and Springer-Verlag, 2003