Wind may have driven avalanches on Martian dunes
Article first published online: 20 JUL 2012
©2012. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union
Volume 93, Issue 30, pages 298–299, 24 July 2012
How to Cite
2012), Wind may have driven avalanches on Martian dunes, Eos Trans. AGU, 93(30), 298., (
- Issue published online: 20 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 20 JUL 2012
- Cited By
- sand dunes;
- seasonal processes
In the sand dunes in the north polar sand sea of Mars, sand avalanches that appear as wedge-shaped alcoves can be seen above fan-shaped deposits. The avalanches, which are typically several meters across, are currently actively forming, with new alcoves showing up in recent images taken in consecutive Mars years. Some scientists have proposed that these sand avalanches occur when frozen carbon dioxide (CO2) sublimates, triggering the downslope flow (mass wasting) of sand grains and rock that had been lying on top of the CO2 frost. However, Horgan and Bell now suggest that these alcoves may actually have been formed by wind-driven movement of sand, not by CO2 sublimation.