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Research studies the causes, controls and effects of observed patterns in the natural water-worked environment. Main area of interest is the sediment-fluid interaction, although similar patterns can be also observed for other interacting media (pattern in clouds or snow).
Studies are undertaken with different grain sizes, ranging from clay, at the smallest scale, through sand and gravel at the biggest scale. Flow and sediment characteristics are measured with various methodologies and subsequent statistical analysis allows identification of the physical causes responsible for the observed patterns.
Examples of wave-like patterns found in nature:
More general examples of sediment-fluid interaction patterns found in nature: