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Craters as sand traps: Dynamics, history, and morphology of modern sand transport in an active Martian dune field

Roback, K. P. and Runyon, K. D. and Avouac, J. P. (2020) Craters as sand traps: Dynamics, history, and morphology of modern sand transport in an active Martian dune field. Icarus, 342 . Art. No. 113642. ISSN 0019-1035. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20200115-110847580

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Abstract

Aeolian transport of sand is abundant on modern-day Mars, as revealed by remote sensing measurements of the motion of dunes, and of the meter-scale ripples that mantle them. We study a large-scale natural sand trap within the Meroe Patera dune field: a 1.8-km diameter crater which features a dune-free “shadow” in its lee. We compare the volume of sand trapped within this crater to the sand volume that would be expected to cover the area of the crater and its dune-free shadow behind it if the crater were not present. We find that the crater holds less sand than this “missing” volume would predict, implying that sand escapes from the crater over time. Modern day imagery shows an apparent lack of sand escaping from the Meroe crater, however, suggesting that changes in the wind regime at the site may have allowed sand to escape in the past. The persistence of an altered dune morphology all the way to the far downwind edge of the dune field suggests consistent wind conditions over the time of the crater-dune field interaction.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2020.113642DOIArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Avouac, J. P.0000-0002-3060-8442
Additional Information:© 2020 Published by Elsevier Inc. Received 10 September 2019, Revised 17 December 2019, Accepted 14 January 2020, Available online 15 January 2020. This work was supported by funding from the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, and from NASA Grant NNX16AJ43G/123117. We honor the memory of our prematurely late colleague, Nathan Bridges, who inspired the present work by occasionally mentioning, “there might be something to those crater sand shadows, but I'm not sure what.” We also thank Dr. Mackenzie Day and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful reviews and comments.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST)UNSPECIFIED
NASANNX16AJ43G/123117
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200115-110847580
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20200115-110847580
Official Citation:K.P. Roback, K.D. Runyon, J.P. Avouac, Craters as sand traps: Dynamics, history, and morphology of modern sand transport in an active martian dune field, Icarus, Volume 342, 2020, 113642, ISSN 0019-1035, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2020.113642. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S001910351930627X)
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100736
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:15 Jan 2020 19:42
Last Modified:10 Apr 2020 17:24

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