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Star Dunes UPSC NOTE

 Why in news

  • Scientists unveiled the first in-depth study of a star dune, revealing the internal structure of these geological features and showing how long it took for one of them to form.

  • They are among the wonders of our deserts: star dunes, the vaguely pyramid-shaped sand formations up to about 1,000 feet (300 meters) tall with arms stretching out from a central peak to give them a star-like appearance when viewed from above.

  • Scientists on Monday unveiled the first in-depth study of a star dune, revealing the internal structure of these geological features and

showing how long it took for one of them to form - more quickly than expected but still a process unfolding over many centuries.

What is star dunes?

  • Star dunes are massive and impressive sand dunes found in deserts around the world, and even on other planets.

  • They are named for their distinctive star-like shape when viewed from above. 

  • These dunes have long arms that radiate out from a central peak, resembling the points of a star. 

  • Formation: They form in areas with complex wind regimes, where winds blow from multiple directions. 

This constant shifting of wind direction causes sand to accumulate around a central point, eventually forming the star-like shape.

  • Size: Star dunes are some of the tallest sand dunes on Earth, reaching heights of up to 1,000 feet (300 meters). 

  • Location: Star dunes are found in many of the world's major deserts, including the Sahara Desert, the Namib Desert, the Arabian Desert, and the Gobi Desert. 

  • They have also been discovered on Mars and Saturn's moon Titan, suggesting that the conditions necessary for their formation can exist on other celestial bodies as well.

Lala Lallia star dune is in?

  • Lala Lallia (an indigenous Amazigh name meaning highest sacred point) is located in the Erg Chebbi sand sea in south-east Morocco. 

  • It is 100m high and 700m wide with radiating arms. 

  • After its initial formation, it stopped growing for about 8,000 years and then quickly expanded in the past several thousand years.

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Star Dunes UPSC NOTE
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