Dunes and other eolian bed forms are prominent on several planetary bodies in our solar system. Despite 4 decades of study, many questions remain regarding the composition, age, and origins of these features, as well as the climatic conditions under which they formed. Recently acquired data from orbiters and rovers, together with terrestrial analogs and numerical models, are providing new insights into Martian sand dunes, as well as eolian bed forms on other terrestrial planetary bodies (e.g., Titan).
As a means of bringing together terrestrial and planetary researchers from diverse backgrounds with the goal of fostering collaborative interdisciplinary research, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, the Desert Research Institute, and the U.S. National Park Service held a workshop in Colorado. The small group setting facilitated intensive discussion of problems and issues associated with eolian processes on Earth, Mars, and Titan.