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Keywords:

  • Mars;
  • simulations;
  • gullies

[1] Small gullies, observed on Mars, could be formed by groundwater seepage from an underground aquifer or may result from the melting of near-surface ground ice at high obliquity. To test these different hypotheses, a cold room-based laboratory simulation has been performed. The experimental slope was designed to simulate debris flows on sand dune slopes at a range of angles, different granulometry and permafrost characteristics. Preliminary results suggest that the typical morphology of gullies observed on Mars can best be reproduced by the formation of linear debris flows related to the melting of a near-surface ground ice with silty materials. This physical modelling highlights the role of the periglacial conditions, especially the active-layer thickness during debris-flow formation.