July 1, 2010 Issue

Physics To Go 100 - Wind & land

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Physics in Your World

The Mystery of the Racing Rocks image
image credit: Jim Gordon (Creative Commons); image source; larger image.

The Mystery of the Racing Rocks

What could cause rocks like this--of various sizes--to slide across the desert of Death Valley and leave these long tracks? The force of the wind... the force of moving ice sheets? To find out about these possibilities, visit The Mystery of the Racing Rocks.

Also check out The Sliding Tracks of Racetrack Playa for other explanations and more images.

(This feature was updated on 1/24/2013.)

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Physics at Home

Investigation 4 - Erosion

Try Investigation 4 - Erosion for a hands-on simulation of erosion to learn how wind and water change the land. For more information and photographs, see this Kansas State University webpage.


From Physics Research

About Dust image
image credit: MODIS Rapid Response Team; Image source ; Larger image

About Dust

This satellite image shows a recent dust storm in China that was so large it spread out to neighboring countries. For more on this storm, see About Dust.

Also, for dust storms around the world, visit Earth Snapshot.

(This feature was updated on 8/31/2013.)

Worth a Look

Sand Dunes: A Phenomenon Of Wind

Sand dunes are formed by wind in dry regions with a lot of sand on the surface. To learn more, see Sand Dunes: A Phenomenon Of Wind.

- To find out how dunes are classified, see sand dunes.

(This feature was updated on August 31, 2013.)

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