Colorful Tides

False-color satellite image of sands and seaweed beds in the Bahamas.

This false-color satellite image — the recent winner of NASA Earth Observatory’s Tournament Earth 2020 — shows sands and seaweed off the coast of the Bahamas. Ocean currents and tides eroded these elaborate fluted designs in much the same way that winds sculpt desert dunes. The overlap in form is no accident; as seen in recent work, researchers are finding that both air and water move granular materials like sand according to the same rules. (Image credit: S. Andrefouet; via NASA Earth Observatory)

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