They are larger than sand ripples on the beach but smaller than sandbanks. Sand waves largely determine the shape of the sea floor in the southern part of the North Sea. A good predictive computer model would be a valuable tool for shipping and designers of offshore infrastructures.
The mathematical equations describing the behaviour of sand waves have been known for some time. Yet suitable equations alone are not enough to predict their behaviour; the equations also need to be solved reliably. To date, no practical methods were available for solving these equations, especially for larger sand waves.
First of all, Van den Berg simplified the equations considerably. This made it much easier to find solutions and hence to predict sand wave behaviour. The result was a tool that could quickly predict the effect of interventions such as dredging. This model was used successfully to determine the recovery of sand waves after dredging of a trench for the new high-voltage cable from the Netherlands to England. Subsequently, Van den Berg developed efficient calculation methods to solve the original equations. In the end this resulted in a mathematical model that will possibly enable studies on the interaction between sand waves and sand banks in the future.
Predicting the growth and movement of these waves is vitally important for the safety of shipping and the design of offshore infrastructure, such as pipelines, cables and platforms.
Sand waves develop in loose sand on the bottom of shallow seas. This loose sand is transported by tidal currents, giving rise to wave patterns. These patterns disrupt the tidal flow and result in more sand being pushed on to the slope. Eventually, sand waves can reach a height of five to eight metres and due to the current they can continuously move and change shape.
Dr Joris van den Berg | alfa
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Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.
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The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.
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Just in time for Christmas, a Mars-analogue mission in Morocco, coordinated by the Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as part of the SRC project FACILITATORS, has been successfully completed. SRC, the Strategic Research Cluster on Space Robotics Technologies, is a program of the European Union to support research and development in space technologies. From mid-November to mid-December 2018, a team of more than 30 scientists from 11 countries tested technologies for future exploration of Mars and Moon in the desert of the Maghreb state.
Close to the border with Algeria, the Erfoud region in Morocco – known to tourists for its impressive sand dunes – offered ideal conditions for the four-week...
Research opens doors in photonic quantum information processing, optical signal processing and microwave photonics
Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new integrated photonics platform that can...
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