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Bright dunes on Mars

Thomas, P. C. and Malin, M. C. and Carr, M. H. and Danielson, G. E. and Davies, M. E. and Hartmann, W. K. and Ingersoll, A. P. and James, P. B. and McEwen, A. S. and Soderblom, L. A. and Veverka, J. (1999) Bright dunes on Mars. Nature, 397 (6720). pp. 592-594. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/17557.

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Seasonal changes observed on the surface of Mars can in part be attributed to the transport of geological materials by wind1. Images obtained by orbiting spacecraft in the 1970s showed large wind-formed features such as dunes, and revealed regional time-varying albedos that could be attributed to the effects of dust erosion and deposition. But the resolution of these images was insufficient to identify different types and sources of aeolian materials, nor could they reveal aeolian deposits other than large dunes or extensive surface coverings that were redistributed by dust storms. Here we present images of Mars with up to 50 times better resolution. These images show that martian dunes include at least two distinct components, the brighter of which we interpret to be composed of relatively soft minerals, possibly sulphates. We also find large areas of the martian surface that have several metres or more of aeolian mantle lacking obvious bedforms.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Ingersoll, A. P.0000-0002-2035-9198
Soderblom, L. A.0000-0002-0917-853X
Additional Information:© 1999 Macmillan Magazines Ltd. Received 16 September; accepted 21 December 1998. We acknowledge the technical help of M. Caplinger, J. Warren, M. Ravine, M. Ryan, M. Ockert-Bell, I. Dauber, R. Sullivan, K. Edgett, B. Carcich, A. Fox, A. Lowenkron & M. Roth.
Issue or Number:6720
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130214-104126167
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:36926
Deposited On:14 Feb 2013 22:04
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:25

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