Conditions for aeolian transport in the Solar System

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. This is version 1 of this Preprint.

Downloads

Download Preprint

Supplementary Files
Authors

Andrew Gunn , Douglas J. Jerolmack 

Abstract

Sand dunes arise wherever loose sediment is mobilized by winds that exceed threshold speeds, and grains are sufficiently strong to survive collisions. The ubiquity of dunes in our solar system is remarkable and confounding; their occurrence under conditions of thin atmospheres, and/or friable materials, challenges our understanding of sediment transport mechanics. Current threshold theories lose meaning and diverge from one another when extrapolated to some planetary bodies, because they neglect physical processes that become relevant under such exotic conditions. Here we draw on results in contact, rarified gas, statistical and adhesion mechanics to present more complete theories for the ‘fluid’ and ‘impact’ thresholds of aeolian transport. Our theoretical predictions compare well with all available experimental threshold observations, and shed light on the contentious issues of sediment mineralogy on Titan and the high threshold for dune activity on Mars. This work will aid in interpreting planetary atmospheric dynamics from observed dunes, and determining what observations are required for future space missions.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31223/X5SC70

Subjects

Planetary Geomorphology

Keywords

sediment, transport, planetary

Dates

Published: 2020-12-06 17:20

License

CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

Additional Metadata

Conflict of interest statement:
None.

Add a Comment

You must log in to post a comment.


Comments

There are no comments or no comments have been made public for this article.