Scientists reveal secrets to giant Moroccan desert star dune

Scientists reveal secrets to giant Moroccan desert star dune

 In a groundbreaking study, researchers have established the age of one of Earth's most vast and complex sand dune formations. 

The dune, named Lala Lallia, located in Morocco and meaning the "highest sacred point" in Berber, dates back 13,000 years.

The dunes, located across Africa, Asia, and North America, and even observed on Mars, had previously eluded dating efforts by researchers.

They discovered that the very base of the Lala Lallia 100-metre high and 700-metre-wide dune in the Erg Chebbi sand sea and were surprised to see it had only been formed in the last 1,000 years or so.

Prof Geoff Duller, from the department of geography and Earth sciences at Aberystwyth University, which was involved in the study, said the dune was formed because the wind blows in two opposing directions – from the south-west and the north-east – leading to the sand building up. A steady third wind that blows from the east is shifting the dune slowly to the west at a rate of about 50cm a year.

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