scientists have determined the age of the Lala Lallia star dune

scientists have determined the age of the Lala Lallia star dune


A star dune known as Lala Lalia.

Photo: Professor K. Bristow

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Researchers have determined the age of the Lala Lallia star dune, located in southeastern Morocco. They also found out how it was formed and moves through the desert.

Sand dunes are vaguely pyramidal sand formations about 300 meters high. They are formed in the deserts of Earth, as well as on Mars and Titan. However, the process itself is called a miracle because of its mystery, they write The Guardian and Reuters.

“These are extraordinary things, one of the natural wonders of the world. From the ground they look like pyramids, but from the air you see the top diverging from it in three or four directions, which makes them look like stars.” – noted Professor Geoff Dallaire from the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences in Aberystwyth (Wales).

Scientists in the journal Scientific Reports published the first in-depth study of the star dune known as Lala Lalliya (translated from the Berber language – “the highest sacred point”). Its height reaches 100 meters, and its width is 700 meters.

The researchers found out that the base of the dune is 13 thousand years old, but the upper part of its structure was formed only during the last 1 thousand years.

“She turned out to be surprisingly young,” – said Daller.

Its base finished forming about 9 thousand years ago.

“Then the surface stabilized. We think it was a little wetter back then than it is today. We can see traces of old plant roots, which indicates that the dune was stabilized by vegetation.

It seems to have remained so for about 8,000 years. Then the climate began to change again, and this star dune began to grow.” – said the scientist.

Duller calls the accumulation of sand caused by the fact that the wind blows in two opposite directions – from the southwest and the northeast – the reason for the formation of the dune. A steady third wind blowing from the east is slowly shifting the dune to the west at a rate of about 50 centimeters per year.

“This is important to consider when building roads, pipelines or any infrastructure,” – the scientist explained.

We will remind, scientists investigatedthat the shape of the Egyptian Sphinx was created by the wind – people only gave it a shape.


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