Planet-wide sand motion on mars

Nathan T. Bridges, Mary C. Bourke, Paul E. Geissler, Maria E. Banks, Cindy Colon, Serina Diniega, Matthew P. Golombek, Candice J. Hansen, Sarah Mattson, Alfred S. McEwen, Michael T. Mellon, Nicholas Stantzos, Bradley J. Thomson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

90 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Prior to Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter data, images of Mars showed no direct evidence for dune and ripple motion. This was consistent with climate models and lander measurements indicating that winds of sufficient intensity to mobilize sand were rare in the low-density atmosphere. We show that many sand ripples and dunes across Mars exhibit movement of as much as a few meters per year, demonstrating that Martian sand migrates under current conditions in diverse areas of the planet. Most motion is probably driven by wind gusts that are not resolved in global circulation models. A past climate with a thicker atmosphere is only required to move large ripples that contain coarse grains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-34
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

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ripple
Mars
planet
sand
dune
gust
atmosphere
climate modeling
climate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

Cite this

Bridges, N. T., Bourke, M. C., Geissler, P. E., Banks, M. E., Colon, C., Diniega, S., ... Thomson, B. J. (2012). Planet-wide sand motion on mars. Geology, 40(1), 31-34. https://doi.org/10.1130/G32373.1

Planet-wide sand motion on mars. / Bridges, Nathan T.; Bourke, Mary C.; Geissler, Paul E.; Banks, Maria E.; Colon, Cindy; Diniega, Serina; Golombek, Matthew P.; Hansen, Candice J.; Mattson, Sarah; McEwen, Alfred S.; Mellon, Michael T.; Stantzos, Nicholas; Thomson, Bradley J.

In: Geology, Vol. 40, No. 1, 01.2012, p. 31-34.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bridges, NT, Bourke, MC, Geissler, PE, Banks, ME, Colon, C, Diniega, S, Golombek, MP, Hansen, CJ, Mattson, S, McEwen, AS, Mellon, MT, Stantzos, N & Thomson, BJ 2012, 'Planet-wide sand motion on mars', Geology, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 31-34. https://doi.org/10.1130/G32373.1
Bridges NT, Bourke MC, Geissler PE, Banks ME, Colon C, Diniega S et al. Planet-wide sand motion on mars. Geology. 2012 Jan;40(1):31-34. https://doi.org/10.1130/G32373.1
Bridges, Nathan T. ; Bourke, Mary C. ; Geissler, Paul E. ; Banks, Maria E. ; Colon, Cindy ; Diniega, Serina ; Golombek, Matthew P. ; Hansen, Candice J. ; Mattson, Sarah ; McEwen, Alfred S. ; Mellon, Michael T. ; Stantzos, Nicholas ; Thomson, Bradley J. / Planet-wide sand motion on mars. In: Geology. 2012 ; Vol. 40, No. 1. pp. 31-34.
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