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Scientists solve the mystery of the natural phenomenon that occurs in the desert

2024-03-04 09:36:00, Kuriozitete CNA

Scientists solve the mystery of the natural phenomenon that occurs in the desert

The age of one of the largest and most complex types of sand dunes on Earth has been calculated for the first time.

Star dunes - or pyramid dunes - are named after their distinctive shapes and reach hundreds of meters in height. They are found in Africa, Asia and North America, as well as on Mars - but experts have never before been able to put a date on when they formed.

Now scientists have discovered that a dune called Lala Lallia in Morocco was formed 13,000 years ago, the BBC reports. 

Understanding their age helps scientists understand those winds and resolve the climate of that era, says Prof Geoff Duller at Aberystwyth University, who published the study with Prof Charles Bristow at Birkbeck University.

Lala Lallia (an indigenous Amazigh name meaning the highest holy point) is located in the Erg Chebbi Sand Sea in southeastern Morocco. It is 100m high and 700m wide with radiating wings.

After its initial formation, it stopped growing for about 8,000 years and then expanded rapidly in the last few thousand years.
Normally, deserts can be identified in Earth's geologic history, but star dunes have been missing until now. /CNA 

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