Free Flow

Did it fall or was it pushed? …

Birds are feeding on the buds of the coming Spring. Winter is heading for the halfway mark or if you are Chinese: New Year.

And leaves will be appearing on the trees. Unless you live on the snow-line. Deciduous trees bear leaves that help control the water uptake of the tree by being aerofoils. They actively control the hydraulics by failing when the wind blows hard enough.

Pine trees have needles that are designed to shed wind-flow as rapidly as possible. They too were designed by someone who knew an awful lot about fluid mechanics.

Here is how it works with coral:

Originally posted by Earth Observatory:

Louisiade Archipelago in the Coral and Solomon Seas, stretch SE from the tip of Papua New Guinea for over 350 kilometers. Image by NASA’s Landsat 7 satellite on January 13, 2002.

The lower corner is Tagula Island. The shallow waters covering the reefs are electric blue. The channel (centre) connects a partially enclosed lagoon north of Tagula Island with the bay south of Yeina Island.

Reefs start out as fringing reefs, growing in the shallow waters just offshore of a tropical island. As the island erodes or sinks, a lagoon opens between the reef and the island, a barrier reef. The island may disappear leaving an atoll, a circle of coral surrounding a central lagoon.

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=36212

Or the coral might form as a food availability effect of the aerofoil-like dynamic of the system.
Or both?

Here are two classical examples of wingfoil aerodynamics, note the similarities:


http://my.opera.com/Weatherlawyer/albums/show.dml?id=673252

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