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The dune effect on sand-transporting winds on Mars

Jackson, D.W.T., Bourke, M.C. and Smyth, T.A.G. (2015) The dune effect on sand-transporting winds on Mars. Nature Communications, 6:8796 . [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9796


Wind on Mars is a significant agent of contemporary surface change, yet the absence of in situ meteorological data hampers the understanding of surface–atmospheric interactions. Airflow models at length scales relevant to landform size now enable examination of conditions that might activate even small-scale bedforms (ripples) under certain contemporary wind regimes. Ripples have the potential to be used as modern ‘wind vanes’ on Mars. Here we use 3D airflow modelling to demonstrate that local dune topography exerts a strong influence on wind speed and direction and that ripple movement likely reflects steered wind direction for certain dune ridge shapes. The poor correlation of dune orientation with effective sand-transporting winds suggests that large dunes may not be mobile under modelled wind scenarios. This work highlights the need to first model winds at high resolution before inferring regional wind patterns from ripple movement or dune orientations on the surface of Mars today.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:Aeolian dunes Mars CFD airflow modelling ripples
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Geography and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Environmental Sciences Research Institute > Coastal Systems
Environmental Sciences Research Institute
ID Code:34657
Deposited By: Professor Derek Jackson
Deposited On:07 Jun 2016 14:11
Last Modified:17 Oct 2017 16:23

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