J. Phys. I France
Volume 4, Numéro 1, January 1994
Page(s) 1 - 5
DOI: 10.1051/jp1:1994117
J. Phys. I France 4 (1994) 1-5

Short Communication

Theory of self-organisation in sorted stone stripes

P.A. Mulheran

Department of Physics, University of Reading, Whiteknights, PO Box 220, Reading, RG6 2AF, U.K.

(Received 18 October 1993, accepted 15 November 1993)

The dynamics of self-organisation in simulated sorted stripes are considered. Basic random-walk theory is used to predict that thé évolution follows power-law kinetics with thé émergence of an asymptotic scaling state. The simulated patterns confirm these predictions with good correspondence being found between measured and calculated distributions of stripe sizes. Taking account of thé dimensional différence between real and simulated stripes, a favourable comparison between theory and patterns observed on alpine slopes is also found. This novel application of scaling theory therefore explains thé surprising order found in this natural phenomenon.

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