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Sailing stones on Racetrack Playa

Bacon, D. and Cahill, T. and Tombrello, T. A. (1996) Sailing stones on Racetrack Playa. Journal of Geology, 104 (1). pp. 121-125. ISSN 0022-1376.

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Racetrack Playa in Death Valley, California is home to a group of stones which have, on occasion, slid hundreds of meters across the dry lake bed. New data on wind shear from a similar playa, Owens Dry Lake, about 80 km SSE of Racetrack Playa, and data on the velocities of wind gusts across these playas are consistent with threshold coefficients of static friction that allow for the motion of 30 of the 31 rocks for which data are available.

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Additional Information:© 1996 by The University of Chicago. The authors wish to acknowledge conversations with Peter Haff and Robert Sharp that were useful in understanding this remarkable phenomenon. We also thank Charlie Peck and Jeff Schweitzer for catching one of our errors in the first version of this paper. The financial support of the Physics 11 program at Caltech is gratefully acknowledged as well.
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Official Citation:D. Bacon, T. Cahill and T. A. Tombrello The Journal of Geology Vol. 104, No. 1 (Jan., 1996), pp. 121-125 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Article Stable URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:50524
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 Oct 2014 15:41
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 07:24

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