Sand Ripples

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Wave motion in a bay or near a beach can cause significant sediment transport. Individual granular particles, like sand, can be lifted by the passage of a single wave, but, over time, complex patterns form as the granular bottom surface shifts due to the waves. This video shows time-lapse footage of the ripples that form and move in submerged sand during many hours of wave motion. A slight imperfection in the surface causes a network of sand ripples to grow and spread. Once formed, those ripples shift and reform depending on changes in the wave conditions. (Video credit: T. Parron et al.)

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