Desert star dunes

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Source- The post on Desert star dunes is based on the article “Scientists reveal secrets of Earth’s magnificent desert star dunes” published in The Hindu” on 5th March 2024.

What is the News?

Scientists unveiled the first in-depth study of star dunes, revealing the internal structure of these geological features.

About Sand Dunes

Desert Dunes
Source- LotusArise

1. About: Star dunes are the tallest and most complex type of desert sand formations.

They reach hundreds of meters in height and are characterized by their pyramidal forms and radiating arms.

Star dunes are pyramid-shaped sand formations with arms stretching out from a central peak. This gave them a star-like appearance when viewed from above.

2. Locations: Star dunes comprise about 10% of desert dunes on Earth. These dunes are found in various deserts across the globe, including the sand seas of Africa, Arabia, China, Saudi Arabia, North America, and even on Mars and Saturn’s moon Titan.

Findings of the study

i) The study focused upon a star dune named Lala Lallia in eastern Morocco, located within the Sahara Desert.

ii) Researchers utilized ground-penetrating radar and luminescence dating to estimate the formation time of Lala Lallia, relying on energy trapped within sand grains.

iii) The findings suggest that Lala Lallia took approximately 900 years to form, accumulating approximately 6,400 metric tons of sand annually as wind carries it across the desert.

UPSC Syllabus: Geography

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