Desert sand dunes, diagram

Desert sand dunes, diagram

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Credit: GARY HINCKS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Desert sand dunes. Block diagram of the mechanics of desert sand dune formation and migration, with prevailing winds (blue arrows) causing the sand to move (red arrows). Over time, the sand dunes will slowly move with the wind as the leading edge is built up with sand blown up the dune slope from the trailing edge. This wind-based mechanism creates the characteristic curved shape of the dune's leading edge. Two camels are at centre right.

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