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Software aids study of erosion on Great Sphinx

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Simulation software is being used to investigate the formation of low speed wind over the Sphinx in Egypt, which is one of the most critical contributors to erosion of the statue.

The Great Sphinx is a monumental statue that is considered the first truly colossal sculpture in Egypt and a national symbol of both ancient and modern Egypt. The statue would have disappeared long ago had it not been buried under sand for so long. The statue is eroding due to the effects of wind, humidity and the smog from Cairo. Wind is one of the most critical denudation factors that are causing the erosion of the statue, especially when it carries dust. In order to investigate the formation of the low speed wind over the Sphinx model, a simulation is made, using Avizo Wind software, that involves solving the 3D incompressible Navier-Stokes equations on a computation mesh of several millions of points. This is a collaborative work between IBM and Bibliotheca Alexandrina based on research work conducted in IBM Center for Advanced Studies in Cairo.

The Vista team Of Bibliotheca Alexandrina has implemented the visualisation of the simulation results on the Cave system using Avizo Wind to provide new insights and better understanding. Thanks to the calculation and visualisation of complex algorithms, the researchers can see the invisible, understand the degradation of the Great Sphinx and present their result.