Science.gov

Sample records for aeolian dune fields

  1. Armoring and vertical sorting in aeolian dune fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Xin; Narteau, Clément; Rozier, Olivier

    2016-04-01

    Unlike ripples, there are only few numerical studies on grain-size segregation at the scale of dunes in aeolian environments. Here we use a cellular automaton model to analyze vertical sorting in granular mixtures under steady unidirectional flow conditions. We investigate the feedbacks between dune growth and the segregation mechanisms by varying the size of coarse grains and their proportion within the bed. We systematically observe the development of a horizontal layer of coarse grains at the top of which sorted bed forms may grow by amalgamation. The formation of such an armor layer controls the overall sediment transport and availability. The emergence of dunes and the transition from barchan to transverse dune fields depend only on the grain size distribution of the initial sediment layer. As confirmed by observation, this result indicates that armor layers should be present in most arid deserts, where they are likely to control dune morphodynamics.

  2. Aeolian Dune Deformation in a Multi-Directional Wind Regime, White Sands Dune Field, New Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedersen, A.; Kocurek, G.

    2013-12-01

    Aeolian dunes commonly exist in a multi-directional wind regime. With each constructive wind event, dunes both migrate and deform as a function of the incidence angle of the primary wind to the local brinkline orientation. Can dune shape after many wind events be predicted from the resultant of these wind events? This question was addressed for sinuous crescentic dunes at the White Sands Dune Field, New Mexico, using: (1) a record of wind events from nearby Holloman AFB, and (2) a time-series of LiDAR-derived digital elevation models (DEMs) in which changes in dune shape can be accurately measured. From June 2007 to June 2010, 1,590 wind events occurred in which wind velocity was above the threshold of 18.66 m/s. Based upon the sand-transporting capacity of each wind event, the rose diagram for the overall wind regime shows three modes: (1) a dominant mode from the SW that occurred throughout the year but was most common during the spring, (2) a secondary mode from the N-NE during winter during the passage of frontal weather systems during the summer, and (3) a tertiary mode from the S-SE that occurred primarily during the summer months. From brinkline tracing and difference maps made from DEMs for June 2007, June 2008, January 2009, September 2009, and June 2010, the impact of each component of the wind regime upon dune morphology is evident. Winds from the SW cause dune migration to the NE, and dune crestlines are oriented nearly perpendicular to this wind direction. N-NE winds cause along-crest crabbing of dune sinuosity, accompanied by scour along the northern flank of convex-downwind lee-face segments. S-SE winds cause local crestal reversal and scour of the lee face. Idealized dune cross-strata can be constructed based upon the impact of each wind event. However, beginning with an initial dune shape, subsequent dune shapes in the DEM time-series cannot be predicted using the resultant for the period and its incidence angle with the initial brinkline

  3. Vegetation and substrate properties of aeolian dune fields in the Colorado River corridor, Grand Canyon, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Draut, Amy E.

    2011-01-01

    This report summarizes vegetation and substrate properties of aeolian landscapes in the Colorado River corridor through Grand Canyon, Arizona, in Grand Canyon National Park. Characterizing these parameters provides a basis from which to assess future changes in this ecosystem, including the spread of nonnative plant species. Differences are apparent between aeolian dune fields that are downwind of where modern controlled flooding deposits new sandbars (modern-fluvial-sourced dune fields) and those that have received little or no new windblown sand since river regulation began in the 1960s (relict-fluvial-sourced dune fields). The most substantial difference between modern- and relict-fluvial-sourced aeolian dune fields is the greater abundance of biologic soil crust in relict dune fields. These findings can be used with similar investigations in other geomorphic settings in Grand Canyon and elsewhere in the Colorado River corridor to evaluate the health of the Colorado River ecosystem over time.

  4. Aeolian dune field geomorphology modulates the stabilization rate imposed by climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barchyn, Thomas E.; Hugenholtz, Chris H.

    2012-06-01

    The activity of inland aeolian dune fields is typically related to the external forcing imposed by climate: active (bare) dunes are associated with windy and/or arid settings, and inactive (vegetated) dunes are associated with humid and/or calm environments. When a climate shifts the dune field reacts; however, the behavior, rate, and potential impact of diverse dune geomorphologies on these transitions are poorly understood. Here, we use a numerical model to systematically investigate the influence of dune field geomorphology (dune height, organization and collisions) on the time a dune field takes to stabilize. To generate diverse initial un-vegetated dune field geomorphologies under unidirectional winds, we varied pre-stabilization growth time and initial sediment thickness (termed equivalent sediment thickness: EST). Following dune field development from a flat bed, we introduced vegetation (simulating a climate shift) and transport-vegetation feedbacks slowly stabilized the dune fields. Qualitatively, very young and immature dune fields stabilized quickly, whereas older dune fields took longer. Dune fields with greater EST stabilized quicker than those with less EST. Larger dunes stabilized quicker because of low celerity, which facilitated higher vegetation growth rates. Extended stabilization times were associated with the extension of parabolic dunes. Dune-dune collisions resulted in premature stabilization; the frequency of collisions was related to dune spacing. Quantitatively comparing the distribution of deposition rates in a dune field to the deposition tolerance of vegetation provides a promising predictor of relative stabilization time. Dune fields with deposition rates dominantly above the deposition tolerance of vegetation advanced unimpeded and prolonged stabilization as parabolic dunes. Paleoenvironmental reconstructions or predictions of dune field activity should not assume that dune activity directly translates to climate, considerable lags to

  5. Southern high latitude dune fields on Mars: Morphology, aeolian inactivity, and climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fenton, L.K.; Hayward, R.K.

    2010-01-01

    In a study area spanning the martian surface poleward of 50?? S., 1190 dune fields have been identified, mapped, and categorized based on dune field morphology. Dune fields in the study area span ??? 116400km2, leading to a global dune field coverage estimate of ???904000km2, far less than that found on Earth. Based on distinct morphological features, the dune fields were grouped into six different classes that vary in interpreted aeolian activity level from potentially active to relatively inactive and eroding. The six dune field classes occur in specific latitude zones, with a sequence of reduced activity and degradation progressing poleward. In particular, the first signs of stabilization appear at ???60?? S., which broadly corresponds to the edge of high concentrations of water-equivalent hydrogen content (observed by the Neutron Spectrometer) that have been interpreted as ground ice. This near-surface ground ice likely acts to reduce sand availability in the present climate state on Mars, stabilizing high latitude dunes and allowing erosional processes to change their morphology. As a result, climatic changes in the content of near-surface ground ice are likely to influence the level of dune activity. Spatial variation of dune field classes with longitude is significant, suggesting that local conditions play a major role in determining dune field activity level. Dune fields on the south polar layered terrain, for example, appear either potentially active or inactive, indicating that at least two generations of dune building have occurred on this surface. Many dune fields show signs of degradation mixed with crisp-brinked dunes, also suggesting that more than one generation of dune building has occurred since they originally formed. Dune fields superposed on early and late Amazonian surfaces provide potential upper age limits of ???100My on the south polar layered deposits and ???3Ga elsewhere at high latitudes. No craters are present on any identifiable dune

  6. A numerical study of turbulent flow over complex aeolian dune fields: the White Sands National Monument

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, W. W.; Chamecki, M.; Kocurek, G.; Mohrig, D. C.

    2013-12-01

    The structure and dynamics of fully-developed turbulent flows responding to aeolian dune fields are studied using large-eddy simulation with an immersed boundary method. An aspect of particular importance in these flows is the downwind migration of coherent motions associated with Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities which originate at the dune crests. These instabilities are responsible for enhanced downward transport of high momentum fluid via the so-called turbulent sweep mechanism. However, the presence of such structures and their role in determining the bulk characteristics of fully developed dune field sublayer aerodynamics has received relatively limited attention. Moreover, many existing studies address mostly symmetric or mildly asymmetric dune forms. The White Sands National Monument is a field of aeolian gypsum sand dunes located in the Tularosa Basin in southern New Mexico. Aeolian processes at the site result in a complex, anisotropic dune field. In the dune field sublayer, the flow statistics resemble a mixing layer: at approximately the dune crest height, vertical profiles of streamwise velocity exhibit an inflection and turbulent Reynolds stresses are maximum; below this, the streamwise and vertical velocity fluctuations are positively and negatively skewed, respectively. We evaluate the spatial structure of Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities present in the dune field sublayer -- shear length, Ls, and vortex spacing, Lambda_x -- and show that Ls = m Lambda_x, where m is approximately 8 in the different sections considered (for turbulent mixing layers, 7 < m < 10, Rogers and Moser, 1994: Phys. Fluids A, 6, 903-922). These results guide discussion on the statistics of aerodynamic drag across the dunes; probability density functions of time-series of aerodynamic drag for the dunes are shown to exhibit skewness and variance much greater than values reported for turbulent boundary layer flow over an homogeneous roughness distribution. Thus, we propose that

  7. Optically stimulated luminescence dating of aeolian sand in the otindag dune field and holocene climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhou, Y.L.; Lu, H.Y.; Mason, J.; Miao, X.D.; Swinehart, J.; Goble, R.

    2008-01-01

    The dune system in Otindag sand field of northern China is sensitive to climate change, where effective moisture and related vegetation cover play a controlling role for dune activity and stability. Therefore, aeolian deposits may be an archive of past environmental changes, possibly at the millennial scale, but previous studies on this topic have rarely been reported. In this study, thirty-five optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages of ten representative sand-paleosol profiles in Otindag sand field are obtained, and these ages provide a relatively complete and well-dated chronology for wet and dry variations in Holocene. The results indicate that widespread dune mobilization occurred from 9.9 to 8.2 ka, suggesting a dry early Holocene climate. The dunes were mainly stabilized between 8.0 and 2.7 ka, implying a relatively wet climate, although there were short-term penetrations of dune activity during this wet period. After ???2.3 ka, the region became dry again, as inferred from widespread dune activity. The "8.2 ka" cold event and the Little Ice Age climatic deterioration are detected on the basis of the dune records and OSL ages. During the Medieval Warm Period and the Sui-Tang Warm Period (570-770 AD), climate in Otindag sand field was relatively humid and the vegetation was denser, and the sand dunes were stabilized again. These aeolian records may indicate climate changes at millennial time scale during Holocene, and these climatic changes may be the teleconnection to the climate changes elsewhere in the world. ?? Science in China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2008.

  8. Controls on and effects of armoring and vertical sorting in aeolian dune fields: A numerical simulation study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Xin; Narteau, Clément; Rozier, Olivier

    2016-03-01

    Unlike ripples, there are only few numerical studies on grain size segregation at the scale of dunes in aeolian environments. Here we use a cellular automaton model to analyze vertical sorting in granular mixtures under steady unidirectional flow conditions. We investigate the feedbacks between dune growth and the segregation mechanisms by varying the size of coarse grains and their proportion within the bed. We systematically observe the development of a horizontal layer of coarse grains at the top of which sorted bed forms may grow by amalgamation. The formation of such an armor layer controls the overall sediment transport and availability. The emergence of dunes and the transition from barchan to transverse dune fields depend only on the grain size distribution of the initial sediment layer. As confirmed by observation, this result indicates that armor layers should be present in most arid deserts, where they are likely to control dune morphodynamics.

  9. Minimal model for aeolian sand dunes.

    PubMed

    Kroy, Klaus; Sauermann, Gerd; Herrmann, Hans J

    2002-09-01

    We present a minimal model for the formation and migration of aeolian sand dunes in unidirectional winds. It combines a perturbative description of the turbulent wind velocity field above the dune with a continuum saltation model that allows for saturation transients in the sand flux. The latter are shown to provide a characteristic length scale, called saturation length, which is distinct from the saltation length of the grains. The model admits two different classes of solutions for the steady-state profile along the wind direction: smooth heaps and dunes with slip face. We clarify the origin of the characteristic properties of these solutions and analyze their scaling behavior. We also investigate in some detail the dynamic evolution of heaps and dunes, including the steady-state migration velocity and transient shape relaxation. Although the minimal model employs nonlocal expressions for the wind shear stress as well as for the sand flux, it is simple enough to serve as a very efficient tool for analytical and numerical investigations and opens up the way to simulations of large scale desert topographies. PMID:12366107

  10. Dynamics of sediment storage and release on aeolian dune slip faces: A field study in Jericoacoara, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelletier, Jon D.; Sherman, Douglas J.; Ellis, Jean T.; Farrell, Eugene J.; Jackson, Nancy L.; Li, Bailiang; Nordstrom, Karl F.; Maia, Luis Parente; Omidyeganeh, Mohammad

    2015-09-01

    Sediment transport on the lee sides of aeolian dunes involves a combination of grain-fall deposition on the upper portion of the slip face until a critical angle is exceeded, transport of a portion of those sediments down the slip face by grain flows and, finally, deposition at an angle of repose. We measured the mean critical and repose angles and the rate of slip-face avalanching using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) on two barchans of different size in Jericoacoara, Brazil. Wind speeds and sand fluxes were measured simultaneously at the dune crests. We found that the mean critical decreased with increasing wind speed. We attribute this effect to turbulent shear stresses, the magnitude of which we quantified using 3-D large eddy simulation modeling, that randomly act down the slip face (i.e., in the direction of gravity) to trigger grain flows at lower angles than would be possible with gravity stresses alone. We developed and tested a new predictive model for the frequency of avalanching that depends on both the sediment flux delivered to the slip face and changes in the critical angle with time. In this model, increasing turbulent shear stresses drive avalanching even in the absence of sand flux delivered to the slip face if the critical angle decreases below the slope angle. We also document that the mean critical angle decreases slightly with increasing slip-face height. These results have important implications for aeolian dune evolution, interpretations of aeolian stratigraphy, and granular mechanics.

  11. Geometric aeolian dune crest migration model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swanson, T.; Mohrig, D. C.; Kocurek, G.; Pedersen, A.

    2012-12-01

    We present a geometric aeolian dune crest model that provides a predictive linkage between local lee face sediment deposition and wholesale landform change. The model is driven using an initial condition of 3D dune crest data obtained from a time series of airborne LIDAR surveys of White Sands, NM, and wind observations from nearby Holloman AFB. Transient dune migration is modeled by volume filling of a simple theoretical dune geometry with sediment flux derived using shear velocity dependent transport (Bagnold, 1941) modified by a new incidence angle dependent lee face sediment deposition function styled after Rubin and Hunter (1985). Model calibration is achieved using an azimuthal wind direction correction and threshold values for shear velocity dependent sediment transport. Agreement between observations and model results are presented using a l2 norm representing a global error estimate.

  12. Stratigraphic Architecture of Aeolian Dune Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brothers, S. C.; Kocurek, G.

    2015-12-01

    Dune interactions, which consist of collisions and detachments, are a known driver of changing dune morphology and provide the dynamics for field-scale patterning. Although interactions are ubiquitous in modern dune fields, the stratigraphic record of interactions has not been explored. This raises the possibility that an entire class of signature architectures of bounding surfaces and cross-strata has gone misidentified or unrecognized. A unique data set for the crescentic dunes of the White Sands Dune Field, New Mexico, allows for the coupling of dune interactions with their resultant stratigraphic architecture. Dune interactions are documented by a decadal time-series of aerial photos and LiDAR-derived digital elevation models. Plan-view cross-strata in interdune areas provide a record tying past dune positions and morphologies to the current dunes. Three-dimensional stratigraphic architecture is revealed by imaging of dune interiors with ground-penetrating radar. The architecture of a dune defect merging with a target dune downwind consists of lateral truncation of the target dune set by an interaction bounding surface. Defect cross-strata tangentially approach and downlap onto the surface. Downwind, the interaction surface curves, and defect and adjacent target dune sets merge into a continuous set. Predictable angular relationships reflect field-scale patterns of dune migration direction and approach angle of migrating defects. The discovery of interaction architectures emphasizes that although dunes appear as continuous forms on the surface, they consist of discrete segments, each with a distinct morphodynamic history. Bedform interactions result in the morphologic recombination of dune bodies, which is manifested stratigraphically within the sets of cross-strata.

  13. Aeolian dunes as ground truth for atmospheric modeling on Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hayward, R.K.; Titus, T.N.; Michaels, T.I.; Fenton, L.K.; Colaprete, A.; Christensen, P.R.

    2009-01-01

    Martian aeolian dunes preserve a record of atmosphere/surface interaction on a variety of scales, serving as ground truth for both Global Climate Models (GCMs) and mesoscale climate models, such as the Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (MRAMS). We hypothesize that the location of dune fields, expressed globally by geographic distribution and locally by dune centroid azimuth (DCA), may record the long-term integration of atmospheric activity across a broad area, preserving GCM-scale atmospheric trends. In contrast, individual dune morphology, as expressed in slipface orientation (SF), may be more sensitive to localized variations in circulation, preserving topographically controlled mesoscale trends. We test this hypothesis by comparing the geographic distribution, DCA, and SF of dunes with output from the Ames Mars GCM and, at a local study site, with output from MRAMS. When compared to the GCM: 1) dunes generally lie adjacent to areas with strongest winds, 2) DCA agrees fairly well with GCM modeled wind directions in smooth-floored craters, and 3) SF does not agree well with GCM modeled wind directions. When compared to MRAMS modeled winds at our study site: 1) DCA generally coincides with the part of the crater where modeled mean winds are weak, and 2) SFs are consistent with some weak, topographically influenced modeled winds. We conclude that: 1) geographic distribution may be valuable as ground truth for GCMs, 2) DCA may be useful as ground truth for both GCM and mesoscale models, and 3) SF may be useful as ground truth for mesoscale models. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  14. Dune-like dynamic of Martian Aeolian large ripples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silvestro, S.; Vaz, D. A.; Yizhaq, H.; Esposito, F.

    2016-08-01

    Martian dunes are sculpted by meter-scale bed forms, which have been interpreted as wind ripples based on orbital data. Because aeolian ripples tend to orient and migrate transversely to the last sand-moving wind, they have been widely used as wind vanes on Earth and Mars. In this report we show that Martian large ripples are dynamically different from Earth's ripples. By remotely monitoring their evolution within the Mars Science Laboratory landing site, we show that these bed forms evolve longitudinally with minimal lateral migration in a time-span of ~ six terrestrial years. Our observations suggest that the large Martian ripples can record more than one wind direction and that in certain cases they are more similar to linear dunes from a dynamic point of view. Consequently, the assumption of the transverse nature of the large Martian ripples must be used with caution when using these features to derive wind directions.

  15. Aeolian sedimentary processes at the Bagnold Dunes, Mars: Implications for modern dune dynamics and sedimentary structures in the aeolian stratigraphic record of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewing, Ryan C.; Bridges, Nathan T.; Sullivan, Rob; Lapotre, Mathieu G. A.; Fischer, Woodward W.; Lamb, Mike P.; Rubin, David M.; Lewis, Kevin W.; Gupta, Sanjeev

    2016-04-01

    Wind-blown sand dunes are ubiquitous on the surface of Mars and are a recognized component of the martian stratigraphic record. Our current knowledge of the aeolian sedimentary processes that determine dune morphology, drive dune dynamics, and create aeolian cross-stratification are based upon orbital studies of ripple and dune morphodynamics, rover observations of stratification on Mars, Earth analogs, and experimental and theoretical studies of sand movement under Martian conditions. In-situ observations of sand dunes (informally called the Bagnold Dunes) by Curiosity Rover in Gale Crater, Mars provide the first opportunity to make observations of dunes from the grain-to-dune scale thereby filling the gap in knowledge between theory and orbital observations and refining our understanding of the martian aeolian stratigraphic record. We use the suite of cameras on Curiosity, including Navigation Camera (Navcam), Mast Camera (Mastcam) and Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), to make observations of the Bagnold Dunes. Measurements of sedimentary structures are made where stereo images are available. Observations indicate that structures generated by gravity-driven processes on the dune lee slopes, such as grainflow and grainfall, are similar to the suite of aeolian sedimentary structures observed on Earth and should be present and recognizable in Mars' aeolian stratigraphic record. Structures formed by traction-driven processes deviate significantly from those found on Earth. The dune hosts centimeter-scale wind ripples and large, meter-scale ripples, which are not found on Earth. The large ripples migrate across the depositional, lee slopes of the dune, which implies that these structures should be present in Mars' stratigraphic record and may appear similar to compound-dune stratification.The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Team is acknowledged for their support of this work.

  16. Aeolian Processes of the Pismo-Oceano Dune Complex, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrineau, C. P.; Tchakerian, V.; Houser, C.

    2012-12-01

    The Pismo Dunes are located approximately 250 km northwest of Los Angeles and consist of 90 km2 of transverse, parabolic and paleodunes. The Pismo Dunes are one of the largest dune complexes on the west coast and are the largest remaining south of San Francisco Bay, but despite their size, relatively few process morphology studies have focused on their form and history. Specifically, the dune field includes 12 km2 of actively migrating transverse dune ridges advancing onshore in three distinct phases separated by small depressions easily indentified using a LiDAR-generated elevation model. An early field investigation by Tchakerian (1983) revealed a uniform increase in slip face heights and crestline wavelengths inland with no apparent change in grain size. Measurement of recent aerial imagery shows variable migration rates throughout the dunes and wavelengths between 30 and 100 m closest to the beach, in the second ridge between 50 and 140 m, and from 70 to 250 m furthest inland. During El Niño and La Niña periods, westerly winds advance onshore nearly perpendicular to the crestlines, fueling episodic migration of the dune field. It is hypothesized that particularly strong ENSO periods may have led to the development of distinct dune phases with separating depressions and the development of defects along the dune crest. Defects associated with the wakes of incipient vegetation and inter-dune depressions are conspicuous and widespread, though localized and variable through time and space. Aerial imagery taken in September 1994 shows a wider, more even distribution of defects across the dune field than currently visible. The signal is, however, complicated by the closure of the dune field to oversand vehicles in 1982. The closure of much of the complex to vehicular traffic in 1982 may play a role, as Tchakerian's crestline wavelength measurements were far smaller than those obtained for this study while maintaining a likewise increase between phases. At a decadal

  17. Aeolian processes and dune morphology in the Gobi and Badain Jaran Desert using LandSat Imagery.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardinale, Marco; Cannito, Arturo; Marinangeli, Lucia

    2014-05-01

    The Gobi and Badain Jaran Deserts are parts of the vast sand sea of the Alashan Region, one of the greatest dunefield in China [1]. They lie between the southern Mongolia and the northern China (latitude 37° 06'N - 41°50'N; longitude 99°10'E - 107°09'E) [2]. The studied area is characterized by an arid climate with low average annual rainfall between 50-60mm, extreme fluctuation in temperature, very strong winds and by the occurrence of mega dunes and permanent lakes within the dunefield [3]. According to our morphological analysis, wind action has been one of the main factors that have shaped the surface features inside the investigated area. We produce a detailed geomorphological map of the desertic zone, highlighting the aeolian morphologies, in order to characterize aeolian deposits and processes. The LandSat ETM+ data [4], providing a continuous coverage of the dune fields with no gaps, were processed using ENVI software and then ingested in a GIS project. We also used DTMs (30m / pixel) from Aster data [5]. The dune morphology was classified using McKee criteria [6] and we interpreted the pattern of the complex ergs as the result of self - organization within complex systems [7]. Compound transverse mega dunes and barchanoid dunes developed under a variable wind regime, star dunes in the northern area near the mountain have been formed under a multi directional wind regime. The area covered by mega dunes suggests a complex evolution of these features dominated by the wind activity. Different episodes of deposition, erosion and motion, could explain the height of these dunes measured by the DTMs. The diverse aeolian features identified in the investigated area suggest that aeolian activity play a key role for the evolution of the surface morphologies of the Gobi Desert. To understand the local dynamics of aeolian processes, we are currently comparing these features with meteorological data from mesoscale wind models. References: [1] E. D.McKee. A Study of

  18. Holden Crater Dune Field

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    Our topic for the weeks of April 4 and April 11 is dunes on Mars. We will look at the north polar sand sea and at isolated dune fields at lower latitudes. Sand seas on Earth are often called 'ergs,' an Arabic name for dune field. A sand sea differs from a dune field in two ways: 1) a sand sea has a large regional extent, and 2) the individual dunes are large in size and complex in form.

    A common location for dune fields on Mars is in the basin of large craters. This dune field is located in Holden Crater at 25 degrees South atitude.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -25.5, Longitude 326.8 East (33.2 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

  19. Predictability of dune activity in real dune fields under unidirectional wind regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barchyn, Thomas E.; Hugenholtz, Chris H.

    2015-02-01

    We present an analysis of 10 dune fields to test a model-derived hypothesis of dune field activity. The hypothesis suggests that a quantifiable threshold exists for stabilization in unidirectional wind regimes: active dunes have slipface deposition rates that exceed the vegetation deposition tolerance, and stabilizing dunes have the opposite. We quantified aeolian sand flux, slipface geometry, and vegetation deposition tolerance to directly test the hypothesis at four dune fields (Bigstick, White Sands Stable, White Sands Active, and Cape Cod). We indirectly tested the hypothesis at six additional dune fields with limited vegetation data (Hanford, Año Nuevo, Skagen Odde, Salton Sea, Oceano Stable, and Oceano Active, "inverse calculation sites"). We used digital topographic data and estimates of aeolian sand flux to approximate the slipface deposition rates prior to stabilization. Results revealed a distinct, quantifiable, and consistent pattern despite diverse environmental conditions: the modal peak of prestabilization slipface deposition rates was 80% of the vegetation deposition tolerance at stabilized or stabilizing dune fields. Results from inverse calculation sites indicate deposition rates at stabilized sites were near a hypothesized maximum vegetation deposition tolerance (1 m a-1), and active sites had slipface deposition rates much higher. Overall, these results confirm the hypothesis and provide evidence of a globally applicable, simple, and previously unidentified predictor for the dynamics of vegetation cover in dune fields under unidirectional wind regimes.

  20. Crater Floor Dune Field

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    Our topic for the weeks of April 4 and April 11 is dunes on Mars. We will look at the north polar sand sea and at isolated dune fields at lower latitudes. Sand seas on Earth are often called 'ergs,' an Arabic name for dune field. A sand sea differs from a dune field in two ways: 1) a sand sea has a large regional extent, and 2) the individual dunes are large in size and complex in form.

    Our final dune image shows a small dune field inside an unnamed crater south of Nili Fossae.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude 20.6, Longitude 79 East (281 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

  1. Vegetated dune morphodynamics during recent stabilization of the Mu Us dune field, north-central China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Zhiwei; Mason, Joseph A.; Lu, Huayu

    2015-01-01

    The response of dune fields to changing environmental conditions can be better understood by investigating how changing vegetation cover affects dune morphodynamics. Significant increases in vegetation and widespread dune stabilization over the years 2000-2012 are evident in high-resolution satellite imagery of the Mu Us dune field in north-central China, possibly a lagged response to changing wind strength and temperature since the 1970s. These trends provide an opportunity to study how dune morphology changes with increasing vegetation stabilization. Vegetation expansion occurs mainly by expansion of pre-existing patches in interdunes. As vegetation spreads from interdunes onto surrounding dunes, it modifies their shapes in competition with wind-driven sand movement, primarily in three ways: 1) vegetation anchoring horns of barchans transforms them to parabolic dunes; 2) vegetation colonizes stoss faces of barchan and transverse dunes, resulting in lower dune height and an elongated stoss face, with shortening of barchan horns; and 3) on transverse dunes, the lee face is fixed by plants that survive sand burial. Along each of these pathways of stabilization, dune morphology tends to change from more barchanoid to more parabolic forms, but that transformation is not always completed before full stabilization. Artificial stabilization leads to an extreme case of "frozen" barchans or transverse dunes with original shapes preserved by rapid establishment of vegetation. Observations in the Mu Us dune field emphasize the point that vegetation growth and aeolian sand transport not only respond to external factors such as climate but also interact with each other. For example, some barchans lose sand mass during vegetation fixation, and actually migrate faster as they become smaller, and vegetation growth on a barchan's lower stoss face may alter sand transport over the dune in a way that favors more rapid stabilization. Conceptual models were generalized for the

  2. Alluvial Fans on Dunes in Kaiser Crater Suggest Niveo-Aeolian and Denivation Processes on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bourke, M. C.

    2005-01-01

    On Earth, cold region sand dunes often contain inter-bedded sand, snow, and ice. These mixed deposits of wind-driven snow, sand, silt, vegetal debris, or other detritus have been termed Niveo-aeolian deposits. These deposits are often coupled with features that are due to melting or sublimation of snow, called denivation features. Snow and ice may be incorporated into dunes on Mars in three ways. Diffusion of water vapour into pore spaces is the widely accepted mechanism for the accretion of premafrost ice. Additional mechanisms may include the burial by sand of snow that has fallen on the dune surface or the synchronous transportation and deposition of snow, sand and ice. Both of these mechanisms have been reported for polar dunes on Earth. Niveo-aeolian deposits in polar deserts on Earth have unique morphologies and sedimentary structures that are generally not found in warm desert dunes. Recent analysis of MOC-scale data have found evidence for potential niveo-aeolian and denivation deposits in sand dunes on Mars.

  3. 3D numerical simulation of the evolutionary process of aeolian downsized crescent-shaped dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Xiaosi; Zhang, Yang; Wang, Yuan; Li, Min

    2016-06-01

    A dune constitutive model was coupled with a large eddy simulation (LES) with the Smagorinsky subgrid-scale (SGS) model to accurately describe the evolutionary process of dunes from the macroscopic perspective of morphological dynamics. A 3D numerical simulation of the evolution of aeolian downsized crescent-shaped dunes was then performed. The evolution of the 3D structure of Gaussian-shaped dunes was simulated under the influence of gravity modulation, which was the same with the vertical oscillation of the sand bed to adjust the threshold of sand grain liftoff in wind tunnel experiments under the same wind speed. The influence of gravity modulation intensity on the characteristic scale parameter of the dune was discussed. Results indicated that the crescent shape of the dune was reproduced with the action of gravity during regulation of the saturation of wind-sand flow at specific times. The crescent shape was not dynamically maintained as time passed, and the dunes dwindled until they reached final decomposition because of wind erosion. The height of the dunes decreased over time, and the height-time curve converged as the intensity of modulation increased linearly. The results qualitatively agreed with those obtained from wind tunnel experiments.

  4. Aeolian deposition and its effect on soil and vegetation changes on stabilised desert dunes in northern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fearnehough, W.; Fullen, M. A.; Mitchell, D. J.; Trueman, I. C.; Zhang, J.

    1998-06-01

    Spatial and temporal patterns of aeolian deposition at Shapotou, northern China, were studied on a chronosequence (0, 12, 29 and 37 years) of stabilised desert dunes. Aeolian deposition markedly influenced soil and vegetation changes on the dunes. The spatial pattern of aeolian deposition was studied using dust traps and measurements of the depth of aeolian accumulation. Mean deposition from August 1993 to July 1994 was 372 g/m 2, and showed a complex spatial pattern, determined by prevailing wind direction, topography and shrub distribution. Contrasts between the topographic pattern of aeolian deposition (trap data) and accumulation (thickness of aeolian deposits) indicate that the measured pattern of aeolian deposition alone is insufficient to explain the pattern of accumulation. An accretionary surface soil or `grey sand' (containing much aeolian-derived particles) is developing on the stabilised dunes at a mean rate of 1.6 mm/year. Rapid accumulation of aeolian particles significantly changed the surface environment. Increased moisture retention by the finer `grey sand' resulted in decreased moisture penetration and subsequent desiccation of the deeper dune sands. This has led to vegetation changes, with the deep-rooted, planted xerophytic shrubs declining from 12 to only 3% cover after 37 years of stabilisation. The shrubs were replaced by a widespread microphytic crust and later by shallow-rooted annual species, which increased from 0 to approximately 12% cover over the same period. The implications of projected increases in the dustiness of arid regions on the stability of desert dunes and vegetated desert margins are discussed. Stabilised dunes may become increasingly vulnerable to deflation with the progressive decline in shrub cover.

  5. Global map of Titan's dune fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Corre, L.; Le Mouélic, S.; Sotin, C.; Barnes, J. W.; Brown, R. H.; Baines, K.; Buratti, B.; Clark, R.; Nicholson, P.

    2008-09-01

    small dunes in low sand supply zones. Most of the aeolian sand deposits are found in sand seas. In addition, isolated groups of "cat scratches", very sinuous short dunes [9] and sand sheets [10] (visible as dark uniform terrains) are recognized. Their emplacement is most probably related to the available sand supply. Comparison of infrared and SAR units Sand seas and small dunes match different kind of terrains in the infrared. Radar dune fields boundaries in the infrared. The dune fields in SAR images generally end at the limit between infrared brown and bright units (Fig. 1b and 1c). Dunes can also be found on dark blue terrains as seen by [7] and [11]. 82% of SAR dunes are located in brown units and 4.5% in dark blue units. The remnant dunes corresponding to "cat scratches" or not well defined dune fields appear in infrared bright units as isolated patches. These dunes may form with a low sand supply, thus VIMS detects a bright terrain because of the lower resolution than SAR. It could account for some of the 13.5% radar dunes found on bright areas. It should be noted that the limit between SAR dunes and brown units is sometimes shifted by about 20 km. This could be due to the obliquity and spin rate of Titan, which are not taken into account in our georeferenced images [12]. An accurate model of Titan obliquity and spin rate would be needed to correct this effect. But yet, there is a significant overlapping between VIMS brown units and dunes seen with the RADAR at global scale. The relationship seems to be more complex for the dark blue terrains, since dunes overlap this unit or are stopped at the border. Dark blue units may correspond to an aeolian deposit younger than the dunes [6]. By using a mean height of 150 m for the dunes [3, 10] and an average thickness of 20 m [3], we find a total amount of dune material in the brown units of 3.01 105 km3. This is consistent with the estimation from [3]. Conclusion From the global mapping, we inferred that dunes in the

  6. Dune fields in central Western Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suvires, Graciela M.

    Important accumulations of wind blown sands extend over some sections of plains and pediments. The three dune fields existing in the area are called: Medanos Grandes (great dunes) in the south end of Pie de Palo range between 660 to 750 masl; Las Chacras dune to the southwestern end of Valle Fertil range between 690 to 800 masl; and Mascasin dunes between 450 to 550 masl. These dune fields contain longitudinal, transverse, parabolic, and barchanoid sand dunes with interdune basins.

  7. Abstracts for the Planetary Geology Field Conference on Aeolian Processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R. (Editor); Black, D. (Editor)

    1978-01-01

    The Planetary Geology Field Conference on Aeolian Processes was organized at the request of the Planetary Geology Program office of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to bring together geologists working on aeolian problems on earth and planetologists concerned with similar problems on the planets. Abstracts of papers presented at the conference are arranged herein by alphabetical order of the senior author. Papers fall into three broad categories: (1) Viking Orbiter and Viking Lander results on aeolian processes and/or landforms on Mars, (2) laboratory results on studies of aeolian processes, and (3) photogeology and field studies of aeolian processes on Earth.

  8. Spatial and temporal patterns of aeolian sediment transport on an inland parabolic dune, Bigstick Sand Hills, Saskatchewan, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hugenholtz, C. H.; Wolfe, S. A.; Walker, I. J.; Moorman, B. J.

    2009-04-01

    Topographic changes from erosion pins and on-site meteorological data document the spatial and temporal patterns of aeolian sediment transport at monthly to annual timescales across an active parabolic dune within a vegetation-stabilized inland, prairie dune field. Over two years, the sediment budget, calculated from digital elevation models, shows that the total volume of erosion (9890 m 3) is greater than the amount of deposition (6990 m 3), indicating a net loss of 2900 m 3 of sediment (or ˜ 29% of eroded sediment) from the dune. Sediment erosion occurred mainly on the stoss slope (3600 m 3; ˜ 36% of eroded sediment), but also on the south (2100 m 3; ˜ 21%) and north sides of the dune head (1700 m 3; ˜ 17%), the blowouts along the arms (1740 m 3, ˜ 18%) and the crest (650 m 3; ˜ 7%). Erosion from the deflation basin is limited by surface roughness and armoring effects of a gravel lag deposit (100 m 3; ˜ 1%). Thus, the blowouts currently contribute to maintaining dune mobility because no other sediment input occurs from upwind. Sediment deposition onto the dune occurred primarily beyond the brink on the south and southeast lee slopes (5500 m 3; ˜ 80%), coinciding with the southeasterly resultant transport direction for November 2004-05. The net loss of about 2900 m 3 (˜ 29%) may be attributed to sediment carried in suspension over and beyond the dune. Correlation analysis between sediment transport and meteorological variables suggests that monthly to seasonal changes of surface conditions (e.g., vegetation cover, ground freezing, moisture) buffer the relative importance of temperature and precipitation on rates of sediment transport. Conversely, wind correlates well on a monthly to seasonal basis because it is a driver of transport under all types of surface conditions. Seasonal effects produce a complex interaction between wind, climate and surface conditions. This leads to a dynamic range of threshold velocities, which in turn causes spatial and

  9. Facies architecture and stratigraphic evolution of aeolian dune and interdune deposits, Permian Caldeirão Member (Santa Brígida Formation), Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Fábio Herbert; Scherer, Claiton Marlon dos Santos; Kuchle, Juliano

    2016-05-01

    The Permian Caldeirão Member (Santa Brígida Formation), located in the Tucano Central Basin, northeast region of Brazil, is characterized by a sandstone succession of aeolian origin that comprises the preserved deposits of dunes and interdunes. Grainflow and translatent wind-ripple strata, and frequent presence of reactivation surface, compose the cross-bedding of crescent aeolian dune deposits. The aeolian cross-strata show a mean dip toward the ENE. In places, interlayered with dune cross-beds, occur interdune units composed of facies indicative of dry, damp and wet condition of the substrate, suggesting spatial and/or temporal variations in the moisture content of the interdune accumulation surface. The presence of NNW current ripple cross-lamination in wet interdune areas indicates streamflows confined to interdune corridors and oriented perpendicular to aeolian transport direction. Lenses of damp and wet interdune strata exhibit mainly interdigitated and transitional relationships with the toe-sets of overlying aeolian dune units in sections parallel to aeolian transport, indicating that dune migration was contemporaneous with accumulation in adjacent interdunes. Lateral variations in the preserved thickness of the interdune units and the associated rare occurrence of abrupt and erosive contacts between interdune and overlying dune sets, suggest temporal variations in the angle of dune and interdune climb that may be related to high-frequency changes in water table position. Four stratigraphic intervals in the Caldeirão Member can be identified, two intervals showing cross-bedding of aeolian dunes without wet interdune areas and two intervals exhibiting aeolian dunes separated by wet interdune areas, marking the transition between dry aeolian systems (Intervals I and III) and wet aeolian systems (Intervals II and IV). The temporal alternations between dry and wet aeolian systems reflect changes in the availability of dry sand and/or the rate in the water

  10. Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, Alaska: A Terrestrial Analog Site for Polar, Topographically Confined Martian Dune Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinwiddie, C. L.; Hooper, D. M.; Michaels, T. I.; McGinnis, R. N.; Stillman, D.; Bjella, K.; Stothoff, S.; Walter, G. R.; Necsoiu, M.; Grimm, R. E.

    2010-12-01

    Martian dune systems belong to two broad categories: (i) the sprawling north polar erg, rich in and immobilized by seasonal and perennial volatiles; and (ii) isolated low- to high-latitude dune fields confined by topography. While modern dune migration on Mars is nearly imperceptibly slow, recent studies are producing robust evidence for aeolian activity, including bedform modification. Cold-climate terrestrial dunes containing volatile reservoirs provide an important analog to Martian polar dunes because permafrost and seasonal cycles of CO2 and H2O frost mantling are thought to partially decouple Martian polar dunes from atmospheric forcing. The 67°N latitude, 62 km2 Great Kobuk Sand Dunes (GKSD) are a terrestrial analog for polar, intercrater dune fields on Mars. Formative winds affected by complex topography and the presence of volatiles and intercalated snow within the GKSD have direct analogy to factors that impede migration of Martian polar dunes. This system offers the opportunity to study cold-climate, noncoastal, topographically constrained, climbing and reversing barchanoid, transverse, longitudinal, and star dunes. The Kobuk Valley climate is subarctic and semiarid with long, cold winters and brief, warm summers. Niveoaeolian sedimentation occurs within west-facing lee slope catchments. In March 2010, we found the seasonally frozen layer to range in thickness from 1.5 to 4.0 m, and no evidence for shallow permafrost. Instead, using GPR and boreholes, we found a system-wide groundwater aquifer that nearly parallels topography and cuts across steeply dipping bedforms. GPR cannot uniquely detect ice and water; however, a similar analysis of rover-based GPR might be used to detect volatiles in Martian dunes. The perennial volatile reservoir is liquid because of mean annual air temperature, intense solar heating before, during, and after 38 days of continuous summer daylight, high dry sand thermal conductivity, higher wet sand thermal conductivity

  11. Aeolian sand as a tool for understanding Mars: Thermal infrared remote sensing of volcaniclastic Mars-analog sand dunes in Christmas Lake Valley, Oregon, U.S.A.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edgett, Kenneth S.

    1996-10-01

    INTRODUCTION: On Earth, aeolian sand dunes are used as tools of scientific inquiry. Holocene and Pleistocene dunes preserve clues about Quaternary climate variations and human activities ranging from Ice Age hunting practices to Twentieth Century warfare. Modern dunes contain the sedimentary textures and structures necessary for interpreting ancient sandstones, and they provide natural laboratories for investigation of aeolian physics and desertification processes. The dunes of Mars can likewise be used as scientific tools. Dunes provide relatively dust-free surfaces. From a remote sensing perspective, martian dunes have much potential for providing clues about surface mineralogy and the interaction between the surface and atmosphere. Such information can in turn provide insights regarding crust composition, volcanic evolution, present and past climate events, and perhaps weathering rates. The Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) is expected to reach the planet in September 1997. TES will provide 6 to 50 micrometer spectra of the martian surface at ground resolutions of 3 to 9 km. Sandy aeolian environments on Mars might provide key information about bedrock composition. To prepare for the TES investigation, I have been examining a thermal infrared image of a Mars-composition analog dune field in Christmas Lake Valley, Oregon. COMPOSITION AND GEOLOGIC SETTING: The "Shifting Sand Dunes" dune field is located at the eastern end of Christmas Lake Valley, in what was once the Pleistocene Fort Rock Lake [1]. Much of the sand that makes up the Shifting Sand Dunes dune field is reworked Mt. Mazama airfall from its terminal eruption 6,800 years ago, plus material deflated from the lake bed [1, 2]. The main constituents of the dunes are volcanic glass and devitrified glass fragments, plagioclase crystals, basalt lithic fragments, aggregates of silt and clay-size volcanic ash, pyroxenes, opaque oxide minerals (mostly magnetite), and trace occurrences of

  12. Dune Field in Nili Pateria

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    The Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) took this image of the southeastern edge of a large dune field within Nili Patera, an irregularly shaped volcanic caldera that is about 65 kilometers (40 miles) in diameter. The image was acquired at 1333 UTC (8:33 a.m. EST) on Feb. 1, 2007, near 8.8 degrees north latitude, 67.3 degrees east longitude. CRISM's image was taken in 544 colors covering 0.36-3.92 micrometers, and shows features as small as 20 meters (66 feet) across. The region covered by the image is just over 10 kilometers (6 miles) wide at its narrowest point.

    The top image was constructed from three visible wavelengths that correspond to what our eyes would see; the colors are stretched to bring out subtle color contrast. The bottom image is a spectral map constructed using three infrared wavelengths that usually highlight compositional variations. Areas with high concentrations of iron- and magnesium-rich igneous minerals appear red.

    The entire dune field, covering about 500 square kilometers, resides mainly in the southwest quadrant of the caldera, occupying approximately 15% of its floor. Some of the dune forms seen here are 'barchans' -- individual, crescent shaped dunes that form when winds come primarily from one direction, resulting in one slipface. The orientation of the slipfaces indicates that primary winds were coming from the east-northeast. Using images from Mars Global Surveyor's narrow-angle camera, researchers measured approximately 400 slipfaces throughout the dune field and calculated an average azimuth of 245 degrees. Some of the barchans have elongated horns, suggesting that they experienced a slight secondary wind, or that the primary wind direction varied a little. When sufficient sand is available, barchans will coalesce, losing their individual crescentic shape. The resulting dune form, referred to as barchanoid, describes the vast majority of dunes in this image.

    In the lower left portion of

  13. Sand Flux Results for Aeolian Dunes at Current and Candidate Landing Sites on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chojnacki, M.; Urso, A.; Yingling, W.

    2015-12-01

    It is now known unambiguously that wind-driven bedform activity is occurring on Mars today. It has also been demonstrated the rapid aeolian abrasion of sedimentary deposits that potentially host ancient habitable environments may provide the best mechanism for exposing samples containing relatively undegraded organics (Farley et al. 2014). Thus, current processes operating on the surface of Mars are highly relevant to our understanding of the past. Here, we discuss new sand flux results of active dune across Mars, including several current and candidate landing sites with Meridiani Planum, Gale crater, Valles Marineris, and Mawrth Vallis. For this task, we have utilized multi-temporal images acquired annually by the HiRISE camera (25 cm/pixel) along with co-located HiRISE Digital Terrain Models. Falling dunes in Coprates Chasma (Mars 2020 candidate landing site) measuring 6-10 meters in height were detected migrating on average 0.5 m per Earth year, yielding crest fluxes of 3.1 m3 m-1 yr-1 (units hereafter assumed). Barchans near the MSL rover at Gale crater have slightly lower fluxes of 1.2, while earlier work in Endeavour crater, the current site of the Opportunity Rover, showed dome dunes with fluxes as high as 13 (average of 6.8; Chojnacki et al. 2015). New results of Mawrth Vallis (Mars 2020 candidate) dunes suggest these high rates are not uncommon, as barchans there possess average fluxes of 11.5. Assuming ripple reptation rates are 1/10th that of crest fluxes, total flux (saltation plus reptation) would range 3.2 to 12.7 m3 m-1 yr-1 for all sites studied herein. Active dunes and the abrasion susceptibility (Sa) of local rocks are relevant to assess how sand fluxes modify the landscape. Using the methodology and assumptions (Sa for basalt, mean trajectory height etc.) described in Bridges et al. (2012), we estimated abrasion rates of local basaltic bedrock. For example, sand blasting at Mawrth Vallis is estimated to produce 2-8 μm/yr for flat ground and 15

  14. 3D airflow dynamics over transverse ridges Mpekweni, South Africa: implications for dune field migration behaviour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, Derek; Cooper, Andrew; Green, Andrew; Beyers, Meiring; Wiles, Errol; Benallack, Keegan

    2016-04-01

    Un-vegetated dune fields provide excellent opportunities to examine airflow dynamics over various types and scales of dune landforms. The three dimensional surface over which lower boundary layers travel, help adjust surface airflow and consequently the aeolian response of the dunes themselves. The use of computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modelling in recent studies now enables investigation of the 3D behaviour of airflow over complex terrain, providing new insights into heterogeneous surface flow and aeolian response of dune surfaces on a large (dunefield) scale. Using a largely un-vegetated coastal dune field site at Mpekweni, Eastern Cape, South Africa, a detailed (0.1m gridded) terrestrial laser scanning survey was conducted to create a high resolution topographical surface. Using local wind flow measurements and local met station records as input, CFD modelling was performed for a number of scenarios involving variable direction and magnitude to examine surface flow patterns across multiple dune forms. Near surface acceleration, expansion and separation of airflow inducing convergence and divergence (steering) of flow velocity streamlines are investigated. Flow acceleration over dune crests/brink lines is a key parameter in driving dune migration and slip face dynamics. Dune aspect ratio (height to length) is also important in determining the degree of crestal flow acceleration, with an increase in flow associated with increasing aspect ratios. Variations in dune height appear to be the most important parameter in driving general flow acceleration. The results from the study provide new insights into dune migration behaviour at this site as well as surface flow behaviour across multiple dune configurations and length scales within un-vegetated dune fields.

  15. Development of spatially diverse and complex dune-field patterns: Gran Desierto Dune Field, Sonora, Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beveridge, C.; Kocurek, G.; Ewing, R.C.; Lancaster, N.; Morthekai, P.; Singhvi, A.K.; Mahan, S.A.

    2006-01-01

    The pattern of dunes within the Gran Desierto of Sonora, Mexico, is both spatially diverse and complex. Identification of the pattern components from remote-sensing images, combined with statistical analysis of their measured parameters demonstrate that the composite pattern consists of separate populations of simple dune patterns. Age-bracketing by optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) indicates that the simple patterns represent relatively short-lived aeolian constructional events since ???25 ka. The simple dune patterns consist of: (i) late Pleistocene relict linear dunes; (ii) degraded crescentic dunes formed at ???12 ka; (iii) early Holocene western crescentic dunes; (iv) eastern crescentic dunes emplaced at ???7 ka; and (v) star dunes formed during the last 3 ka. Recognition of the simple patterns and their ages allows for the geomorphic backstripping of the composite pattern. Palaeowind reconstructions, based upon the rule of gross bedform-normal transport, are largely in agreement with regional proxy data. The sediment state over time for the Gran Desierto is one in which the sediment supply for aeolian constructional events is derived from previously stored sediment (Ancestral Colorado River sediment), and contemporaneous influx from the lower Colorado River valley and coastal influx from the Bahia del Adair inlet. Aeolian constructional events are triggered by climatic shifts to greater aridity, changes in the wind regime, and the development of a sediment supply. The rate of geomorphic change within the Gran Desierto is significantly greater than the rate of subsidence and burial of the accumulation surface upon which it rests. ?? 2006 The Authors. Journal compilation 2006 International Association of Sedimentologists.

  16. Global map of Titan's dune fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Corre, L.; Le Mouélic, S.; Sotin, C.; Barnes, J. W.; Brown, R. H.; Baines, K.; Buratti, B.; Clark, R.; Nicholson, P.

    2008-09-01

    Introduction Methane is the second major constituent of Titan's atmosphere; but it should be totally removed at least in ten million years by photochemistry in the stratosphere and condensation in the troposphere [1]. The first process produces hydrocarbons which form the haze and can condensate onto the surface. The second process causes methane rains on the surface, which carve channels networks. The loss of methane is possibly balanced by outgassing during cryovolcanic event [2]. But hydrocarbons grains deposited onto the surface cannot be recycled. They may be stored in the dunes [3], which were first seen by SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) [4]. We focus our study on the mapping of the dune fields in order to determine their global distribution. The aim is to constrain the amount of hydrocarbon material existing in the dunes, and to relate it to the duration of the methane cycle. Data from the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) and RADAR instruments onboard Cassini spacecraft can be used to map Titan's surface. Infrared images, which are mainly sensitive to composition and grain size, are very complementary to the microwave measurements which depend mainly on roughness and topography. We used spectral criteria after empirical correction of aerosols to map the distribution of heterogeneous units on Titan [5]. These units are compared with SAR images in overlapping regions. Titan's surface mosaics with VIMS VIMS probes the first ten of microns of the ground in seven narrow atmospheric windows in the 0.88 to 5.11 μm wavelength range. We built infrared mosaics with cubes sorted by spatial resolution, by keeping cubes corresponding to favorable observing conditions (incidence, emergence, phase and time exposure). Band ratios were computed and combined in false color composite images (red as 1.59/1.27-μm, green as 2.03/1.27-μm and blue as 1.27/1.08-μm). Band ratios are useful to minimize the effect of illuminating conditions and albedo variations [6

  17. A linear dune dam - a unique late Pleistocene aeolian-fluvial archive bordering the northwestern Negev Desert dunefield, Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roskin, Joel; Bookman, Revital; Friesem, David; Vardi, Jacob

    2016-04-01

    Interactions between aeolian and fluvial processes, known as aeolian-fluvial (A-F) interactions, play a fundamental role in shaping the surface of the Earth especially in arid zones. The blocking of wadis by dunes (dune-damming) is an A-F interaction that is perceived to be an archive of periods of aeolian 'superiority' on fluvial transport power and has had a strong impact on arid landscapes and prehistoric man since the late Quaternary. The southern fringes of the northwestern Negev dunefield are lined with discontinuous surfaces of light-colored, playa-like, low-energy, fine-grained fluvial deposits (LFFDs). Abundant Epipalaeolithic camp sites mainly border the LFFDs. The LFFDs are understood to be reworked loess-like sediment deposited in short-lived shallow water bodies during the late Pleistocene. These developed adjacently upstream of hypothesized dune dams of wadis that drain the Negev highlands. However, no dune dam structures by the LFFDs have been explicitly identified or analyzed. This paper presents for the first time the morphology, stratigraphy and sedimentology of a hypothesized dune dam. The studied linear-like dune dam structure extends west-east for several hundred meters, has an asymmetric cross-section and is comprised of two segments. In the west, the structure is 3-5 m high, 80 m wide, with a steep southern slope, and is covered by pebbles. Here, its morphology and orientation resembles the prevailing vegetated linear dunes (VLDs) of the adjacent dunefield though its slope angles differ from VLDs. To the south of the structure extends a thick LFFD sequence. In the east the structure flattens and is covered by nebkhas with its southern edge overlapped by LFFD units. The structures' stratigraphy is found to be comprised of a thick LFFD base, overlaid by aeolian and fluvially reworked sand, a thin middle LFFD unit, and a crest comprised of LFFDs, fluvial sand and pebbles. Carbonate contents and particle size distributions of the sediments easily

  18. Challenges in Measuring and Predicting Medium Term (Weeks to Annual) Aeolian Sediment Transport in Beach-Dune Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delgado-Fernandez, I.

    2009-05-01

    Coastal dune budgets depend on sediment input by wind from the beach. Calculation of aeolian transport is thus a primary factor to understand coastal dune evolution and beach-dune coupled dynamics. However, measuring aeolian sediment transport in coastal areas presents fundamental technical and conceptual limitations that make numerical modeling difficult. Wind tunnel experiments isolate and reduce the number of variables to study, which is a necessary procedure to clearly manifest mechanistic relationships between cause and effect. But even with refinement and inclusion of new variables, traditional sediment transport formulas derived from wind tunnel experiments do not usually work well in natural areas. Short-term experiments may include precise instrumentation to obtain high frequency, detail time series of variables involved in aeolian transport, but inferring information at larger scales is problematic without knowledge of the timing and magnitude of particular transport events. There are two primary problems in attempting to predict sediment inputs to coastal dunes over periods of weeks, months or years: 1) to determine an appropriate set of predictive equations that incorporate complexities such as surface moisture content, beach width and the presence of vegetation; and 2) to provide quantitative data on these variables for input into the model at this time scale. Remote sensing techniques and the use of GIS software open the possibility to monitor key parameters regulating sediment transport dynamics at high spatial and temporal resolution over time scales beyond short-term experiments. These were applied at Greenwich Dunes, Prince Edward Island National Park (Canada), in an attempt to measure factors affecting aeolian sediment input to the foredune at a medium scale. Three digital cameras covering different sections of the beach and foredune provide time series on shoreline position, fetch distances, vegetation cover, ice/snow presence, or superficial

  19. The Permian Weissliegend of NW Europe: The partial deformation of aeolian dune sands caused by the Zechstein transgression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glennie, K. W.; Buller, A. T.

    1983-05-01

    The Weissliegend is a European sandstone unit of largely late Early Permian age. It is underlain by the Early Permian Rotliegend red desert sandstones and is overlain by the conventionally accepted basal bed of the Zechstein-the bituminous marine shales of the Kupferschiefer. The Weissliegend sandstones are characteristically white or grey in colour and have been recognised beneath the North Sea, in Germany and in Poland. Equivalents, which are red or yellow in colour, occur in NE England and at the southern edge of the Moray Firth Basin in Scotland. From an examination of cliff and quarry exposures in Britain, and of drill cores from southern North Sea gas wells, it is now believed that the bulk of the Weissliegend sandstones (and their equivalents) were originally deposited as aeolian dunes. These dune sands, however, were later modified by a widespread event, the Zechstein transgression, which caused their partial homogenisation, the creation of large-scale soft-sediment deformation structures, and the local and minor reworking of some of the dune flanks. The preferred mechanism of deformation is interpreted as: (1) entrapment of large pockets of air within the bodies of the dunes by flanking and overlying wetted dune sands; (2) venting of the air pockets when the rising internal air pressures overcame the weight of the hydrostatic head of water and the capillary (cohesive) strength of the overlying wetted sands; (3) the rapid replacement of air by water, which caused liquidisation of the original dune laminae; and (4) the associated collapse and final consolidation of the sands into a tigher packing configuration. Deformations seem to be more developed in former transverse dunes than in seif dunes. The reason may be that the relatively tightly packed low-angle accretion bedding common on the flanks of seif dunes is more resistant to deformation than the looser avalanche sands that form a major part of transverse dunes. Limited reworking of former dune sands was

  20. Natural and human controls of the Holocene evolution of the beach, aeolian sand and dunes of Caesarea (Israel)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roskin, J.; Sivan, D.; Shtienberg, G.; Roskin, E.; Porat, N.; Bookman, R.

    2015-12-01

    The study focuses on the Holocene appearance, chronology and drivers of beach sand deposition and inland aeolian sand transport around the Roman-Byzantine ruins of Caesarea, Israel. Beach sand, sand sheets, nebkha, linear and transverse dunes as well as parabolic and transverse interdunes along two transects were sampled in the current study down to their substrate. Sixteen new optically stimulated luminescence ages cluster at ∼5.9-3.3 ka, ∼1.2-1.1 ka (800-900 AD) and ∼190-120 years ago (1825-1895 AD) indicating times of middle and late Holocene sand sheet depositions and historical dune stabilization. The first age cluster indicates that beach sand accumulated when rates of global sea level rise declined around 6-5 ka. Until ∼4 ka sand sheets encroached up to 2.5 km inland. Historical and archaeological evidence points to sand mobilization since the first century AD. Sand sheets dating to 1.2-1.1 ka, coevally found throughout the dunefield represent sand stabilization due to vegetation reestablishment attributed to gradual and fluctuating decline in human activity from the middle Early Islamic period until the 10th century. Historical and chronological evidence of the existence of transverse and coppice dunes from the 19th century suggest that dunes only formed in the last few centuries. The study illustrates the initial role of natural processes, in this case decline in global sea level rise and the primary and later role of fluctuating human activity upon coastal sand mobility. The study distinguishes between sand sheets and dunes and portrays them as sensors of environmental changes.

  1. Conceptual models of the evolution of transgressive dune field systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hesp, Patrick A.

    2013-10-01

    This paper examines the evolutionary paths of some transgressive dune fields that have formed on different coasts of the world, and presents some initial conceptual models of system dynamics for transgressive dune sheets and dune fields. Various evolutionary pathways are conceptualized based on a visual examination of dune fields from around the world. On coasts with high sediment supply, dune sheets and dune fields tend to accumulate as large scale barrier systems with little colonization of vegetation in arid-hyper to arid climate regimes, and as multiple, active discrete phases of dune field and deflation plain couplets in temperate to tropical environments. Active dune fields tend to be singular entities on coasts with low to moderate sediment supply. Landscape complexity and vegetation richness and diversity increases as dune fields evolve from simple active sheets and dunes to single and multiple deflation plains and basins, precipitation ridges, nebkha fields and a host of other dune types associated with vegetation (e.g. trailing ridges, slacks, remnant knobs, gegenwalle ridges and dune track ridges, 'tree islands' and 'bush pockets'). Three principal scenarios of transgressive dune sheet and dune field development are discussed, including dune sheets or dune fields evolving directly from the backshore, development following foredune and/or dune field erosion, and development from the breakdown or merging of parabolic dunes. Various stages of evolution are outlined for each scenario. Knowledge of evolutionary patterns and stages in coastal dune fields is very limited and caution is urged in attempts to reverse, change and/or modify dune fields to 'restore' some perceived loss of ecosystem or dune functioning.

  2. Conceptual models of the evolution of transgressive dune field systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    A. Hesp, Patrick

    2013-10-01

    This paper examines the evolutionary paths of some transgressive dune fields that have formed on different coasts of the world, and presents some initial conceptual models of system dynamics for transgressive dune sheets and dune fields. Various evolutionary pathways are conceptualized based on a visual examination of dune fields from around the world. On coasts with high sediment supply, dune sheets and dune fields tend to accumulate as large scale barrier systems with little colonization of vegetation in arid-hyper to arid climate regimes, and as multiple, active discrete phases of dune field and deflation plain couplets in temperate to tropical environments. Active dune fields tend to be singular entities on coasts with low to moderate sediment supply. Landscape complexity and vegetation richness and diversity increases as dune fields evolve from simple active sheets and dunes to single and multiple deflation plains and basins, precipitation ridges, nebkha fields and a host of other dune types associated with vegetation (e.g. trailing ridges, slacks, remnant knobs, gegenwalle ridges and dune track ridges, ‘tree islands' and ‘bush pockets'). Three principal scenarios of transgressive dune sheet and dune field development are discussed, including dune sheets or dune fields evolving directly from the backshore, development following foredune and/or dune field erosion, and development from the breakdown or merging of parabolic dunes. Various stages of evolution are outlined for each scenario. Knowledge of evolutionary patterns and stages in coastal dune fields is very limited and caution is urged in attempts to reverse, change and/or modify dune fields to ‘restore' some perceived loss of ecosystem or dune functioning.

  3. Meso-scale aeolian transport of beach sediment via dune blowout pathways within a linear foredune

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Keeffe, Nicholas; Delgado-Fernandez, Irene; Jackson, Derek; Aplin, Paul; Marston, Christopher

    2016-04-01

    The evolution of coastal foredunes is largely controlled by sediment exchanges between the geomorphic sub-units of the nearshore, beach, foredune and dune field. Although blowouts are widely recognised as efficient sediment transport pathways, both event-scale and meso-scale quantification of their utility in transferring beach sediments landwards is limited. Foredunes characterised by multiple blowouts may be more susceptible to coastline retreat through the enhanced landwards transport of beach or foredune sediments. To date, a key constraint for investigations of such scenarios has been the absence of accurate blowout sediment transport records. Here we use the Sefton coast in north-west England as a study area where an unprecedented temporal coverage of LIDAR data is available between 1999 and 2015. Additionally, an extensive set of aerial photography also exists, dating back to 1945 allowing comparison of blowout frequency and magnitude together with the alongshore limits of coastline retreat. Digital terrain models are derived for each year that LIDAR data is available. Informed by LIDAR based topography and areas of bare sand (aerial photos) terrain models have been created containing individual blowouts. Differentials in 'z' values between each terrain model of each available year has identified topographic change and total levels of transport. Preliminary results have confirmed the importance of blowouts in transporting beach or foredune sediment landwards and thus potentially promoting coastline retreat. Repetition of processes across a larger number of blowout topographies will allow better identification of individual blowouts for 'event' scale field investigations to examine spatial and temporal variability of beach sediment transport via blowouts routes.

  4. Holocene evolution of the Xagó dune field (Asturias, NW Spain) reconstructed by means of morphological mapping and ground penetrating radar surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flor-Blanco, G.; Rubio-Melendi, D.; Flor, G.; Fernández-Álvarez, J. P.; Jackson, D. W. T.

    2016-02-01

    Morphological mapping and ground penetrating radar (GPR) profiling were carried out in the Xagó aeolian dune field along the Asturias coast of NW Spain to reconstruct its Holocene evolution. Such data provide a much more accurate picture than can be inferred from surficial morphological studies alone. Three successive dune sequences were identified: an inner (climbing dunes), a middle (large transverse ridge and minor elongated dunes) and an outer dune field (foredune with lee-projection dunes and incipient foredune). A late Holocene sea-level fall is inferred from the relative position of the dunes together with a prograding tendency. Long intervals of stabilisation, during which each dune sequence was formed, are interspersed within the deposit. The GPR records also reveal a period of erosion in the southern middle field, which was followed by accretion. The results show that both progradational and erosional processes occurred during the Holocene evolution of the dune field, features that can be extended to other dune fields in similar settings at these latitudes. Stratigraphically, the Xagó dune field is an excellent example where internal reflectors reveal an erosion surface representing a transgressive or sea-level stillstand event that had previously remained undetected.

  5. Dynamics of a Barchan Dune Field: a Discrete Numerical Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Littlewood, R. C.; Murray, A. B.; Andreotti, B.; Claudin, P.

    2007-12-01

    Barchans are crescent-shaped dunes that form on solid ground in areas with a relatively low sand supply and a unidirectional wind regime. Isolated barchans have been successfully modeled with regard to their shape and propagation velocity. However, emergent effects that arise for the case of a field of dunes have proven difficult to capture. These behaviors include selection of a preferred size and spacing within a patch of dunes and additionally the presence within a dune field of multiple patches, greatly extended in the downwind direction, each exhibiting a different dominant size. It is suspected that these sorting inhomogeneities in the dune field are self- organized and not the result of external forcing. Here, we present the results of modeling efforts using a discrete numerical model representing a field of barchan dunes. We use simplified equations for dune shape, mass balance, and propagation. Dunes interact by merging and by means of the downwind sand flux. Additionally, we include a simplified treatment of dune calving. Tentative conclusions can be drawn from the rich behavior of the model. In it, spatial inhomogeneities can arise due to feedbacks triggered by stochastic fluctuations about critical values of the input parameters. Isolated groups propagate at velocities independent of those of their constituent dunes. Size selection occurs to a limited extent due to the onset of calving at a critical size. In sum, the model displays some of the emergent dune field characteristics that have not previously been replicated.

  6. Field measurement and analysis of climatic factors affecting dune mobility near Grand Falls on the Navajo Nation, southwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bogle, Rian C.; Redsteer, Margaret Hiza; Vogel, John M.

    2015-01-01

    Aeolian sand covers extensive areas of the Navajo Nation in the southwestern United States. Much of this sand is currently stabilized by vegetation, although many drier parts of these Native lands also have active and partly active dunes. Current prolonged drought conditions that started in the mid-1990s are producing significant changes in dune mobility. Reactivation of regional aeolian deposits due to drought or increasing aridity from rising temperatures resulting from climate change could have serious consequences for human and animal populations, agriculture, grazing, and infrastructure. To understand and document the current and future potential for mobility, seasonally repeated surveys were used to track the location of multiple active barchan dunes. By utilizing Real-Time Kinematic GPS field surveys and simultaneously collecting in-situ meteorological data, it is possible to examine climatic parameters and seasonal variations that affect dune mobility and their relative influences. Through analysis of the recorded data, we examined the fit of various climate parameters, and demonstrate that under the current prolonged drought, wind power is the dominant factor controlling dune mobility.

  7. Effects of river regulation on aeolian landscapes, Colorado River, southwestern USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Draut, Amy E.

    2012-01-01

    Connectivity between fluvial and aeolian sedimentary systems plays an important role in the physical and biological environment of dryland regions. This study examines the coupling between fluvial sand deposits and aeolian dune fields in bedrock canyons of the arid to semiarid Colorado River corridor, southwestern USA. By quantifying significant differences between aeolian landscapes with and without modern fluvial sediment sources, this work demonstrates for the first time that the flow- and sediment-limiting effects of dam operations affect sedimentary processes and ecosystems in aeolian landscapes above the fluvial high water line. Dune fields decoupled from fluvial sand supply have more ground cover (biologic crust and vegetation) and less aeolian sand transport than do dune fields that remain coupled to modern fluvial sand supply. The proportion of active aeolian sand area also is substantially lower in a heavily regulated river reach (Marble–Grand Canyon, Arizona) than in a much less regulated reach with otherwise similar environmental conditions (Cataract Canyon, Utah). The interconnections shown here among river flow and sediment, aeolian sand transport, and biologic communities in aeolian dunes demonstrate a newly recognized means by which anthropogenic influence alters dryland environments. Because fluvial–aeolian coupling is common globally, it is likely that similar sediment-transport connectivity and interaction with upland ecosystems are important in other dryland regions to a greater degree than has been recognized previously.

  8. Effects of river regulation on aeolian landscapes, Colorado River, southwestern USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Draut, Amy E.

    2012-06-01

    Connectivity between fluvial and aeolian sedimentary systems plays an important role in the physical and biological environment of dryland regions. This study examines the coupling between fluvial sand deposits and aeolian dune fields in bedrock canyons of the arid to semiarid Colorado River corridor, southwestern USA. By quantifying significant differences between aeolian landscapes with and without modern fluvial sediment sources, this work demonstrates for the first time that the flow- and sediment-limiting effects of dam operations affect sedimentary processes and ecosystems in aeolian landscapes above the fluvial high water line. Dune fields decoupled from fluvial sand supply have more ground cover (biologic crust and vegetation) and less aeolian sand transport than do dune fields that remain coupled to modern fluvial sand supply. The proportion of active aeolian sand area also is substantially lower in a heavily regulated river reach (Marble-Grand Canyon, Arizona) than in a much less regulated reach with otherwise similar environmental conditions (Cataract Canyon, Utah). The interconnections shown here among river flow and sediment, aeolian sand transport, and biologic communities in aeolian dunes demonstrate a newly recognized means by which anthropogenic influence alters dryland environments. Because fluvial-aeolian coupling is common globally, it is likely that similar sediment-transport connectivity and interaction with upland ecosystems are important in other dryland regions to a greater degree than has been recognized previously.

  9. Wind tunnel and field calibration of six aeolian dust samplers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goossens, Dirk; Offer, Zvi Y.

    The efficiency of six aeolian dust samplers was tested via wind tunnel experiments and field measurements. In the wind tunnel, four samplers designed to measure the horizontal dust flux and one sampler designed to measure the vertical dust flux (in the downward direction, i.e., deposition) were calibrated against an isokinetic reference sampler. The horizontal dust flux samplers were: the big spring number eight sampler (BSNE), the modified Wilson and Cooke sampler (MWAC), the suspended sediment trap (SUSTRA), and the wedge dust flux gauge (WDFG). Vertical deposition flux was measured using a marble dust collector (MDCO). A modified Sartorius SM 16711 dust sampler with adjustable flow rate (SARTORIUS) was used as isokinetic reference sampler. In the field experiments, the WDFG was replaced by a Sierra ultra high volume dust sampler (SIERRA). Wind tunnel calibrations were carried out at five wind velocities ranging from 1 to 5 m s -1. Field calibrations were conducted during seven periods of two weeks each. The most efficient samplers are the MWAC and the SIERRA, followed by the BSNE and the SUSTRA. The WDFG is more effective than the BSNE at velocities below 3 m s -1, but its efficiency drops quickly at higher wind speeds. The most recommendable sampler for field measurements is the BSNE, because its efficiency varies only very slightly with wind speed. In the absence of horizontal flux samplers, the MDCO collector can be used as an alternative to assess horizontal dust flux and airborne dust concentration provided the appropriate calibrations are made.

  10. Origin of the late quaternary dune fields of northeastern Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muhs, D.R.; Stafford, T.W.; Cowherd, S.D.; Mahan, S.A.; Kihl, R.; Maat, P.B.; Bush, C.A.; Nehring, J.

    1996-01-01

    Stabilized eolian deposits, mostly parabolic dunes and sand sheets, cover much of the landscape of northeastern Colorado and adjacent parts of southwestern Nebraska in four geographically distinct dune fields. Stratigraphic and soil-geomorphic relations and accelerator radiocarbon dating indicate that at least three episodes of eolian sand movement occurred between 27 ka and 11 ka, possibly between 11 ka and 4 ka, and within the past 1.5 ka. Thus, eolian sand deposition took place under both glacial and interglacial climatic conditions. In the youngest episodes of eolian sand movement, Holocene parabolic dunes partially buried Pleistocene sand sheet deposits. Late Holocene sands in the Fort Morgan and Wray dune fields, to the south of the South Platte River, have trace element ratios that are indistinguishable from modern South Platte River sands, but different from Ogallala Formation bedrock, which has previously been cited as the main source of dune sand on the Great Plains. Sands in the Greeley dune field, to the north of the South Platte River, have trace element concentrations that indicate a probable Laramie Formation source. Measurements of parabolic dunes indicate paleowinds from the northwest in all dune fields, in good agreement with resultant drift directions calculated for nearby weather stations. Thus, paleowinds were probably not significantly different from present-day winds, and are consistent with a South Platte River source for the Fort Morgan and Wray dune fields, and a Laramie Formation source for the Greeley dune field. Sand accumulated downwind of the South Platte River to form the Fort Morgan dune field. In addition, sand was also transported farther downwind over the upland formed by the calcrete caprock of the Ogallala Formation, and deposited in die lee of the upland on the southeast side. Because of high wind energy, the upland itself served as a zone of sand transport, but little or no sand accumulation took place on this surface. These

  11. The Role of Reproductive Phenology, Seedling Emergence and Establishment of Perennial Salix gordejevii in Active Sand Dune Fields

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Qiaoling; Liu, Zhimin; Ma, Junling; Jiang, Deming

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims The function of sexual reproduction of perennials in restoration of vegetation of active dune fields frequently has been underestimated. The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of sexual reproduction of the perennial Salix gordejevii in the revegetation of active dunes. Methods Seedling emergence and establishment of S. gordejevii were examined both in controlled experiments (germination at different burial depths with different watering regimes) and in field observations in three dune slacks. The reproductive phenology and soil seed bank of S. gordejevii, the dynamics of soil moisture, the groundwater table and the landform level of three dune slacks were monitored. Key Results Seeds of S. gordejevii began maturation on 1 May, and seed dispersal lasted from 8 May to 20 May. Seeds on the soil surface germinated significantly faster than those buried in soil (P<0·05). Seedling emergence was negatively correlated with landform level. When most seedlings emerged, there was a significantly positive correlation between soil moisture and seedling emergence (P<0·01). Rainfall was negatively correlated with seedling emergence. Seedling establishment was significantly and positively correlated with seedling emergence (P<0·05), and 72·3 % of the emergent seedlings were established at the end of the growing season. These results indicated that (a) seeds matured and dispersed before the rainy season; (b) seeds germinated as soon as they contacted a moist surface and relied more on soil moisture than on rainfall; and (c) more seedlings emerged at lower sampling points in dune slacks. Conclusions In natural conditions, restoration of active sand dune fields generally commences with revegetation of dune slacks where sexual reproduction of perennials contributes greatly to species encroachment and colonization and hence plays an important role in restoration of active dune fields. Furthermore, aeolian erosion in dune slacks, leading to good

  12. Flow Fields Over Unsteady Three Dimensional Dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardy, R. J.; Reesink, A.; Parsons, D. R.; Ashworth, P. J.; Best, J.

    2013-12-01

    The flow field over dunes has been extensively measured in laboratory conditions and there is general understanding on the nature of the flow over dunes formed under equilibrium flow conditions. However, fluvial systems typically experience unsteady flow and therefore the sediment-water interface is constantly responding and reorganizing to these unsteady flows, over a range of both spatial and temporal scales. This is primarily through adjustment of bed forms (including ripples, dunes and bar forms) which then subsequently alter the flow field. This paper investigates, through the application of a numerical model, the influence of these roughness elements on the overall flow and the increase in flow resistance. A series of experiments were undertaken in a flume, 16m long and 2m wide, where a fine sand (D50 of 239μm) mobile bed was water worked under a range of unsteady hydraulic conditions to generate a series of quasi-equilibrium three dimensional bed forms. During the experiments flow was measured with acoustic Doppler velocimeters, (aDv's). On four occasions the flume was drained and the bed topography measured with terrestrial LiDAR to create digital elevation models. This data provide the necessary boundary conditions and validation data for a Large Eddy Simulation (LES) model, which provided a three dimensional time dependent prediction of flow over the four static beds. The numerical predicted flow is analyzed through a series of approaches, and included: i) standard Reynolds decomposition to the flow fields; ii) Eulerian coherent structure detection methods based on the invariants of the velocity gradient tensor; iii) Lagrangian coherent structure identification methods based upon direct Lyapunov exponents (DLE). The results show that superimposed bed forms can cause changes in the nature of the classical separated flow region in particularly the number of locations where vortices are shed and the point of flow reattachment, which may be important for

  13. Holocene eolian activity in the Minot dune field, North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muhs, D.R.; Stafford, Thomas W.; Been, J.; Mahan, S.A.; Burdett, J.; Skipp, G.; Rowland, Z.M.

    1997-01-01

    Stabilized eolian sand is common over much of the Great Plains region of the United States and Canada, including a subhumid area of ??? 1500 km2 near Minot, North Dakota. Eolian landforms consist of sand sheets and northwest-trending parabolic dunes. Dunes and sand sheets in the Minot field are presently stabilized by a cover of prairie grasses or oak woodland. Stratigraphic studies and accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dating of paleosols indicate at least two periods of eolian sand movement in the late Holocene. Pedologic data suggest that all of the dune field has experienced late Holocene dune activity, though not all parts of the dune field may have been active simultaneously. Similar immobile element (Ti, Zr, La, Ce) concentrations support the interpretation that eolian sands are derived from local glaciofluvial and glaciolacustrine sediments. However, glaciolacustrine and glaciofluvial source sediments have high Ca concentrations from carbonate minerals, whereas dune sands are depleted in Ca. Because noneolian-derived soils in the area are calcareous, these data indicate that the Minot dune field may have had extended periods of activity in the Holocene, such that eolian abrasion removed soft carbonate minerals. The southwest-facing parts of some presently stabilized dunes were active during the 1930s drought, but were revegetated during the wetter years of the 1940s. These observations indicate that severe droughts accompanied by high temperatures are the most likely cause of Holocene eolian activity.

  14. Coastal Sand Dune Plant Ecology: Field Phenomena and Interpretation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McDonald, K.

    1973-01-01

    Discusses the advantages and disadvantages of selecting coastal sand dunes as the location for field ecology studies. Presents a descriptive zonal model for seaboard sand dune plant communities, suggestions concerning possible observations and activities relevant to interpreting phenomena associated with these forms of vegetation, and additional…

  15. Gully annealing by aeolian sediment: field and remote-sensing investigation of aeolian-hillslope-fluvial interactions, Colorado River corridor, Arizona, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sankey, Joel B.; Draut, Amy E.

    2014-09-01

    Processes contributing to development of ephemeral gully channels are of great importance to landscapes worldwide, and particularly in dryland regions where soil loss and land degradation from gully erosion pose long-term land-management problems. Whereas gully formation has been relatively well studied, much less is known of the processes that anneal gullies and impede their growth. This study of gully annealing by aeolian sediment, spanning 95 km along the Colorado River corridor in Glen, Marble, and Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, employed field and remote sensing observations, including digital topographic modelling. Results indicate that aeolian sediment activity can be locally effective at counteracting gully erosion. Gullies are less prevalent in areas where surficial sediment undergoes active aeolian transport, and have a greater tendency to terminate in active aeolian sand. Although not common, examples exist in the record of historical imagery of gullies that underwent infilling by aeolian sediment in past decades and evidently were effectively annealed. We thus provide new evidence for a potentially important interaction of aeolian-hillslope-fluvial processes, which could affect dryland regions substantially in ways not widely recognized. Moreover, because the biologic soil crust plays an important role in determining aeolian sand activity, and so in turn the extent of gully development, this study highlights a critical role of geomorphic-ecologic interactions in determining arid-landscape evolution.

  16. The Dunes of Shangri-La : New Cassini RADAR results on patterns of aeolian features and the influence of topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorenz, R. D.; Radebaugh, J.; Wall, S. D.; Kirk, R.; Le Gall, A.; Janssen, M. A.; Zebker, H.; Paganelli, F.; Wye, L.; Lunine, J.

    2008-12-01

    Recent flybys (T43, T44 - and just prior to this meeting, T48) provide SAR imagery of northern Shangri-La, the large dark region just to the WNW of Xanadu. Previous imaging of SE Shangri-La (T13) showed that dunes there take a pronounced southward dip compared with the E-W direction seen elsewhere. The new data show rather different directions for dunes in northern Shangri-La, and confirm a blocking or divergent influence of Xanadu. Application of monopulse radar methods to retrieve elevations from Cassini SAR images ('SARTopo') now allows us to explore the influence of topography on the local dune (and by implication, wind) patterns, and the relationship between elevation and sediment accumulation. The lack of large positive relief at Xanadu makes its influence on the dunes somewhat surprising. We consider the possible mechanisms of Xanadu's effect on the winds, using terrestrial analogs as a guide. We review the global pattern of dune orientations and their implications for atmospheric circulation: this orientation map presents a challenging constraint for modelers. We note preliminary indications that scatterometry of Titan's dunefields yields azimuth-dependent radar cross-sections (as is the case for terrestrial sand seas) and note future plans for dune studies on Titan with multi-angle observations that will provide constraints on dune-scale slopes and duneforms too small to resolve.

  17. Gully annealing by aeolian sediment: field and remote-sensing investigation of aeolian-hillslope-fluvial interactions, Colorado River corridor, Arizona, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sankey, Joel B.; Draut, Amy E.

    2014-01-01

    Processes contributing to development of ephemeral gully channels are of great importance to landscapes worldwide, and particularly in dryland regions where soil loss and land degradation from gully erosion pose long-term land-management problems. Whereas gully formation has been relatively well studied, much less is known of the processes that anneal gullies and impede their growth. This study of gully annealing by aeolian sediment, spanning 95 km along the Colorado River corridor in Glen, Marble, and Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, employed field and remote sensing observations, including digital topographic modelling. Results indicate that aeolian sediment activity can be locally effective at counteracting gully erosion. Gullies are less prevalent in areas where surficial sediment undergoes active aeolian transport, and have a greater tendency to terminate in active aeolian sand. Although not common, examples exist in the record of historical imagery of gullies that underwent infilling by aeolian sediment in past decades and evidently were effectively annealed. We thus provide new evidence for a potentially important interaction of aeolian–hillslope–fluvial processes, which could affect dryland regions substantially in ways not widely recognized. Moreover, because the biologic soil crust plays an important role in determining aeolian sand activity, and so in turn the extent of gully development, this study highlights a critical role of geomorphic–ecologic interactions in determining arid-landscape evolution.

  18. Latitudinal and altitudinal controls of Titan's dune field morphometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Gall, A.; Hayes, A. G.; Ewing, R.; Janssen, M. A.; Radebaugh, J.; Savage, C.; Encrenaz, P.; the Cassini Radar Team

    2012-01-01

    Dune fields dominate ˜13% of Titan's surface and represent an important sink of carbon in the methane cycle. Herein, we discuss correlations in dune morphometry with altitude and latitude. These correlations, which have important implications in terms of geological processes and climate on Titan, are investigated through the microwave electromagnetic signatures of dune fields using Cassini radar and radiometry observations. The backscatter and emissivity from Titan's dune terrains are primarily controlled by the amount of interdune area within the radar footprint and are also expected to vary with the degree of the interdunal sand cover. Using SAR-derived topography, we find that Titan's main dune fields (Shangri-La, Fensal, Belet and Aztlan) tend to occupy the lowest elevation areas in Equatorial regions occurring at mean elevations between ˜-400 and ˜0 m (relative to the geoid). In elevated dune terrains, we show a definite trend towards a smaller dune to interdune ratio and possibly a thinner sand cover in the interdune areas. A similar correlation is observed with latitude, suggesting that the quantity of windblown sand in the dune fields tends to decrease as one moves farther north. The altitudinal trend among Titan's sand seas is consistent with the idea that sediment source zones most probably occur in lowlands, which would reduce the sand supply toward elevated regions. The latitudinal preference could result from a gradual increase in dampness with latitude due to the asymmetric seasonal forcing associated with Titan's current orbital configuration unless it is indicative of a latitudinal preference in the sand source distribution or wind transport capacity.

  19. Active aeolian processes on Mars: A regional study in Arabia and Meridiani Terrae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silvestro, S.; Vaz, D. A.; Fenton, L. K.; Geissler, P. E.

    2011-10-01

    We present evidence of widespread aeolian activity in the Arabia Terra/Meridiani region (Mars), where different kinds of aeolian modifications have been detected and classified. Passing from the regional to the local scale, we describe one particular dune field in Meridiani Planum, where two ripple populations are distinguished by means of different migration rates. Moreover, a consistent change in the ripple pattern is accompanied by significant dune advancement (between 0.4-1 meter in one Martian year) that is locally triggered by large avalanche features. This suggests that dune advancement may be common throughout the Martian tropics.

  20. Active aeolian processes on Mars: A regional study in Arabia and Meridiani Terrae

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Silvestro, S.; Vaz, D.A.; Fenton, L.K.; Geissler, P.E.

    2011-01-01

    We present evidence of widespread aeolian activity in the Arabia Terra/Meridiani region (Mars), where different kinds of aeolian modifications have been detected and classified. Passing from the regional to the local scale, we describe one particular dune field in Meridiani Planum, where two ripple populations are distinguished by means of different migration rates. Moreover, a consistent change in the ripple pattern is accompanied by significant dune advancement (between 0.4-1 meter in one Martian year) that is locally triggered by large avalanche features. This suggests that dune advancement may be common throughout the Martian tropics. ?? 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

  1. Surprises from the field: Novel aspects of aeolian saltation observed under natural turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, R. L.; Kok, J. F.; Chamecki, M.

    2015-12-01

    The mass flux of aeolian (wind-blown) sediment transport - critical for understanding earth and planetary geomorphology, dust generation, and soil stability - is difficult to predict. Recent work suggests that competing models for saltation (the characteristic hopping of aeolian sediment) fail because they do not adequately account for wind turbulence. To address this issue, we performed field deployments measuring high-frequency co-variations of aeolian saltation and near-surface winds at multiple sites under a range of conditions. Our observations yield several novel findings not currently captured by saltation models: (1) Saltation flux displays no significant lag relative to horizontal wind velocity; (2) Characteristic height of the saltation layer remains constant with changes in shear velocity; and (3) During saltation, the vertical profile of mean horizontal wind velocity is steeper than expected from the Reynolds stress. We examine how the interactions between saltation and turbulence in field settings could explain some of these surprising observations.

  2. Environmental dynamics of a star dune

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Weimin; Qu, Jianjun; Tan, Lihai; Jing, Zhefan; Bian, Kai; Niu, Qinghe

    2016-11-01

    Star dunes, the largest aeolian bedforms in the sand seas of the world, are usually distributed within specific geographical areas that have multi-directional wind regimes. However, relatively few studies have focused on the environmental factors that impart such great volumes of sand to these dunes. Specifically, verification of the developmental processes of star dunes through long-term monitoring is scarce. In this study, by observing 3-D airflow fields and long-term dune dynamics, we demonstrate how topographic barriers, which generate vertical airflow and local air circulation, control the development of a star dune on Mingsha Mountain in Dunhuang, China. Results show that airflow stagnation and deflection caused by topography is one of the major mechanisms for the formation of star dunes. In our study, topographic barriers contribute to the development of intensive vertical airflow dominated by easterly winds. This intensive vertical airflow is one of the main driving mechanisms of the upward growth of mega-dunes. Vertical airflow is the strongest developed airflow reported in available data on aeolian geomorphology. In addition, star dunes are usually distributed in areas where the local air circulation is strong. The results of long-term dune dynamics verify that local air circulation, which forms three wind directions with the regional wind regime, contributes to the maintenance and development of star dunes. Our study indicates that complex mega-dunes are products of topographic barriers, which facilitate their recognition in aeolian geomorphology. We introduce a new evolution pattern of star dunes under the influence of local environment and topographic barriers.

  3. Postdam evolution of aeolian landscapes in the Colorado River corridor through Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Draut, A. E.; Collins, B. D.; Fairley, H. C.; Rubin, D. M.

    2009-12-01

    Sediment deposits within the Colorado River corridor in Grand Canyon, USA, include fluvial sandbars and aeolian dune fields; fluvial deposits are the primary sediment source for the dune fields. We present a conceptual model describing evolution of aeolian landscapes in Grand Canyon, based upon field measurements of wind and sand transport and on surveys of vegetation and substrate properties. The data indicate that Glen Canyon Dam operations can affect geomorphic evolution above the elevation reached by river flows because of the link between fluvial deposition and aeolian transport of sediment. Evolution of aeolian landscapes, in turn, can affect the stability and preservation of archaeological material that occurs in numerous dune fields. Before closure of Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River in 1963, sediment-rich floods (mean annual flood 2400 m3/s) formed sandbars from which wind moved sand inland to form aeolian dunes. After dam operations reduced the amplitude and frequency of high flows, and eliminated the mainstream fluvial sediment supply, fluvial sandbars lost open sand area owing to erosion by river flows and the spread of riparian vegetation. Two types of aeolian landscapes now occur: (1) modern fluvial sourced, those downwind of postdam sandbars; and (2) relict fluvial sourced, which are not downwind of postdam sandbars and whose primary sediment source was deposits from predam floods that were larger than any postdam flows have been. Sediment supply has been reduced to type (1) dune fields because postdam sandbars are smaller than in the predam era; new sediment supply to type (2) dune fields has been essentially eliminated. Decreased aeolian sediment supply leads to increased vegetation and biologic soil crust in dune fields, and can result in greater susceptibility to gully formation during rainfall due to lack of infilling aeolian sand. Modern-fluvial-sourced dunes can receive new windblown sand from sandbars formed by controlled

  4. Cellular automata to understand the behaviour of beach-dune systems: Application to El Fangar Spit active dune system (Ebro delta, Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrio-Parra, Fernando; Rodríguez-Santalla, Inmaculada

    2016-08-01

    Coastal dunes are sedimentary environments characterized by their high dynamism. Their evolution is determined by sedimentary exchanges between the beach-dune subsystems and the dune dynamics itself. Knowledge about these exchanges is important to prioritize management and conservation strategies of these environments. The aim of this work is the inclusion of the aeolian transport rates obtained using a calibrated cellular automaton to estimate the beach-dune sediment exchange rates in a real active dune field at El Fangar Spit (Ebro Delta, Spain). The dune dynamics model is able to estimate average aeolian sediment fluxes. These are used in combination with the observed net sediment budget to obtain a quantitative characterization of the sediment exchange interactions. The methods produce a substantial improvement in the understanding of coastal sedimentary systems that could have major implications in areas where the management and conservation of dune fields are of concern.

  5. Introducing a New International Society of Aeolian Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zobeck, T. M.; Lee, J.; Lancaster, N.; Bullard, J. E.

    2008-12-01

    Aeolian research is a long-standing and rapidly growing area of geological study where scientists of many disciplines meet to investigate the effects of wind on the surface of the Earth and other planetary bodies such as Mars and Titan. Fields of study in aeolian research cover a broad spectrum ranging from developing a basic scientific understanding of the fundamental physical processes of grain motion to the effects of soil erosion on landscape health and environmental sustainability. Aeolian research also includes studies of the effects of aeolian particles on global climate, air quality, and human health, coastal sand transport processes, land degradation, dune migration, the formation of sand seas, and much more. A growing number of international conferences have been organized to focus specifically on aeolian phenomena and a vast number of scholarly publications have been produced to support the science. One popular bibliography includes over 30,000 citations and hundreds of peer-reviewed papers are published each year. Until very recently, no scientific society specifically dealing with aeolian research has been available. The new International Society of Aeolian Research (ISAR) that has been organized to bring together aeolian scientists from around the world. The new society was created to promote contacts among researchers in aeolian processes and related subjects for discussion and comparison of research, to initiate conferences (such as the International Conference on Aeolian Research), to organize excursions, and support the publication of a peer-reviewed scientific journal. The International Society of Aeolian Research sponsors the new Elsevier journal Aeolian Research in support of these activities. This paper will provide further details about the new society and the journal. Please see www.aeolianresearch.org for details.

  6. The geomorphology and evolution of aeolian landforms within a river valley in a semi-humid environment: A case study from Mainling Valley, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Na; Zhang, Chun-Lai; Wu, Xiao-Xu; Wang, Xun-ming; Kang, Li-qiang

    2014-11-01

    This paper systematically analyzes a valley's aeolian landforms in a semi-humid region and presents a model of its contemporary evolution. Mainling Valley of the Yarlung Zangbo River on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau was chosen as the case study for the analysis of morphometric characteristics and the evolution sequence of aeolian landforms via field data and remote sensing images. The aeolian landforms were primarily composed of aeolian sand belts on river terraces and dunes (sheets) on hillside slopes. Three types of aeolian sand belts were identified based on their dune types. In type I belts, an erosive air stream combined with relatively high vegetation cover (10%) produced sparsely distributed parabolic dunes with a high variability of dune heights; in type II belts, the continual reworking by the erosive air stream in combination with low vegetation cover (3%) formed more densely distributed barchans and transitional dunes with a moderate variability of dune heights; and in type III belts, the gradual evolution from an erosive sand-laden air stream to a saturated sand-laden air stream in combination with low vegetation cover (2%) produced the densest crescentic dunefields but with the least variability in dune heights. Dune sizes increase, dune shapes become uniform, and dune distribution becomes close from type I to III belts. Lateral linking and merging of the dunes were also observed within the belts. Together this evidence indicates that an evolution sequence may exist. Aeolian dunefields in the belt appear to evolve from embryonic parabolic dunefields to adolescent barchan dunefields and, subsequently, to mature compound crescentic dunefields. As the aeolian sand belt evolves into the mature stage, sand accumulations at the foot of the mountain valley can be steps for sand accumulation on valley-side slopes.

  7. Summary of the Third International Planetary Dunes Workshop: remote sensing and image analysis of planetary dunes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fenton, Lori K.; Hayward, Rosalyn K.; Horgan, Briony H.N.; Rubin, David M.; Titus, Timothy N.; Bishop, Mark A.; Burr, Devon M.; Chojnacki, Matthew; Dinwiddie, Cynthia L.; Kerber, Laura; Gall, Alice Le; Michaels, Timothy I.; Neakrase, Lynn D.V.; Newman, Claire E.; Tirsch, Daniela; Yizhaq, Hezi; Zimbelman, James R.

    2013-01-01

    The Third International Planetary Dunes Workshop took place in Flagstaff, AZ, USA during June 12–15, 2012. This meeting brought together a diverse group of researchers to discuss recent advances in terrestrial and planetary research on aeolian bedforms. The workshop included two and a half days of oral and poster presentations, as well as one formal (and one informal) full-day field trip. Similar to its predecessors, the presented work provided new insight on the morphology, dynamics, composition, and origin of aeolian bedforms on Venus, Earth, Mars, and Titan, with some intriguing speculation about potential aeolian processes on Triton (a satellite of Neptune) and Pluto. Major advancements since the previous International Planetary Dunes Workshop include the introduction of several new data analysis and numerical tools and utilization of low-cost field instruments (most notably the time-lapse camera). Most presentations represented advancement towards research priorities identified in both of the prior two workshops, although some previously recommended research approaches were not discussed. In addition, this workshop provided a forum for participants to discuss the uncertain future of the Planetary Aeolian Laboratory; subsequent actions taken as a result of the decisions made during the workshop may lead to an expansion of funding opportunities to use the facilities, as well as other improvements. The interactions during this workshop contributed to the success of the Third International Planetary Dunes Workshop, further developing our understanding of aeolian processes on the aeolian worlds of the Solar System.

  8. Palaeoclimatic considerations of talus flatirons and aeolian deposits in Northern Fuerteventura volcanic island (Canary Islands, Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutiérrez-Elorza, Mateo; Lucha, Pedro; Gracia, F.-Javier; Desir, Gloria; Marín, Cinta; Petit-Maire, Nicole

    2013-09-01

    Fuerteventura volcanic island has been subject to considerable aeolian activity since the Late Pleistocene. The aeolian record includes inactive aeolian deposits with interbedded entisols, whose age by OSL dating ranges between 46 and 26 ky BP. The Corralejo active dune field, where sand sheets, nebkhas, coppice dunes, blowouts, barchans and transverse dunes have been described, constitutes a more recent Aeolian deposit. Here the age is about 14 ky BP. On Fuerteventura Island aeolian dust has been deposited on valleys and slopes. This last type of accumulation has been affected by gully incision, producing talus flatirons. Samples taken on the apex of these palaeo-slopes indicate an OSL age of 30 and 50 ky BP. A palaeoclimatic succession has been interpreted during which a prevailing arid period took place in OIS 4, with the accumulation of aeolian dust. A humid period occurred in OIS 2, during which slopes were dissected and formed talus flatirons. An arid period about 14 ky BP gave rise to the Corralejo dune field, which has continued until present with slight climatic oscillations.

  9. Dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    This image shows relatively dark coarse grained material forming individual dunes coalescing into a relatively uniform sand sheet. The origin of the dark sand that formed these dunes have been suggested to be the northern polar layered deposits.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude 77.7, Longitude 309.4 East (50.6 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.

  10. Breeding and solitary wave behavior of dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durán, O.; Schwämmle, V.; Herrmann, H.

    2005-08-01

    Beautiful dune patterns can be found in deserts and along coasts due to the instability of a plain sheet of sand under the action of the wind. Barchan dunes are highly mobile aeolian dunes found in areas of low sand availability and unidirectional wind fields. Up to now modelization mainly focused on single dunes or dune patterns without regarding the mechanisms of dune interactions. We study the case when a small dune bumps into a bigger one. Recently Schwämmle and Herrmann [Nature (London) 426, 610 (2003)] and Katsuki [(e-print cond-mat 0403312)] have shown that under certain circumstances dunes can behave like solitary waves. This means that they can “cross” each other which has been questioned by many researchers before. In other cases we observe coalescence—i.e., both dunes merge into one—breeding—i.e., the creation of three baby dunes at the center and horns of a Barchan dune—or budding—i.e., the small dune, after “crossing” the big one, is unstable and splits into two new dunes.

  11. Persistent Aeolian Activity at Endeavour Crater, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chojnacki, M.; Michaels, T. I.; Fenton, L. K.

    2013-12-01

    Long-term monitoring of sites that are known to have active dunes and ripples is generally limited to 3 Mars-Years (MY). Here, we discuss new results of dune activity and albedo change in Endeavour crater (EC), Meridiani Planum (MP) that record eight MY of aeolian activity. MP dune fields often show large yearly variations in albedo; EC darkened by ~12% in TES albedo between MY 24 and 26 (from 0.14 to 0.12). THEMIS VIS albedo of dunes did not change significantly from MY 26 to 29, but did decrease notably (~15 %) in MY 30. These darkening events are most likely related to aeolian-driven dust cleaning (e.g., removal by saltating sand, dust devils). For example, the Opportunity rover (poised on the western rim of EC) observed evidence for a MY 31 dune field dust-clearing event. HiRISE monitoring of MP has shown it be one of the most active regions outside of north polar latitudes. Paired images of western EC taken 3 MY apart show clear evidence for dune modification that include: ripple migration, change in dune perimeters, exposure of previously buried light-toned rock, and/or burial of rock by sand (Fig. 1a-1b). Dune slip face movement is evident for most dunes, where crests and aprons advanced (2-7 m) in the downwind direction (to the SSE) at rates of 0.7-2.3 m per MY. Small dome dunes in the eastern EC were found to have a large degree of aeolian activity (e.g., deflation and/or translation) by an earlier study that used MGS-MRO images (MY 24-30). New MY 31 images validate earlier observations, showing clear evidence for bedform deflation where dunes often occupy less area (~50%) than in earlier MY 29 images (Fig. 1c-1d). Areal removal rates are on par with earlier estimates. Bedform modification and sand streamer orientation appear to be caused by a NNW wind regime, consistent with earlier observations, mesoscale modeling, and the transport direction of barchans to the west. Dunes in EC are now known to be periodically (consistently?) active from over a decade

  12. Overview of Initial Results From Studies of the Bagnold Dune Field on Mars by the Curiosity Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bridges, Nathan; Ehlmann, Bethany; Ewing, Ryan; Newman, Claire; Sullivan, Robert; Conrad, Pamela; Cousin, Agnes; Edgett, Kenneth; Fisk, Martin; Fraeman, Abigail; Johnson, Jeffrey; Lamb, Michael; Lapotre, Mathieu; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Martinez, German; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Thompson, Lucy; van Beek, Jason; Vasavada, Ashwin; Wiens, Roger

    2016-04-01

    The Curiosity Rover is currently studying the Bagnold Dunes in Gale Crater. Here we provide a general overview of results and note that other EGU presentations will focus on specific aspects. The in situ activities have not yet occurred as of this writing, but other analyses have been performed approaching and within the dunefield. ChemCam passive spectra of Bagnold Dune sands are consistent with the presence of olivine. Two APXS spots on the High Dune stoss slope margin, and two others in an engineering test sand patch, show less inferred dust, greater Si, and higher Fe/Mn than other "soils" in Gale Crater. ChemCam analyses of more than 300 soils along the Curiosity traverse show that both fine and coarse soils have increasing iron and alkali content as the Bagnold Dunes are approached, a trend that may reflect admixtures of local rocks (alkalis + iron) to the fines, but also a contribution of Bagnold-like sand (iron) that increases toward the dunefield. MAHLI images of sands on the lower east stoss slope of High Dune show medium and coarse sand in ripple forms, and very fine and fine sand in ripple troughs. Most grains are dark gray, but some are also brick-red/brown, white, green translucent, yellow, brown„ colorless translucent, or vitreous spheres HiRISE orbital images show that the Bagnold Dunes migrate on the order of decimeters or more per Earth year. Prior to entering the dune field, wind disruption of dump piles and grain movement was observed over multi-sol time spans, demonstrating that winds are of sufficient strength to mobilize unconsolidated material, either through direct aerodynamic force or via the action of smaller impacting grains. Within the dune field, we are, as of this writing, engaged in change detection experiments with Mastcam and ChemCam's RMI camera. Data we have so far, spanning 8 sols from the same location, shows no changes. Mastcam and RMI images of the stoss sides of Namib, Noctivaga, and High Dune show that the "ripples" seen

  13. Element geochemical analysis of the contribution of aeolian sand to suspended sediment in desert stream flash floods.

    PubMed

    Jia, Xiaopeng; Wang, Haibing

    2014-01-01

    The interaction of wind and water in semiarid and arid areas usually leads to low-frequency flash flood events in desert rivers, which have adverse effects on river systems and ecology. In arid zones, many aeolian dune-fields terminate in stream channels and deliver aeolian sand to the channels. Although aeolian processes are common to many desert rivers, whether the aeolian processes contribute to fluvial sediment loss is still unknown. Here, we identified the aeolian-fluvial cycling process responsible for the high rate of suspended sediment transport in the Sudalaer desert stream in the Ordos plateau of China. On the basis of element geochemistry data analysis, we found that aeolian sand was similar to suspended sediment in element composition, which suggests that aeolian sand contributes to suspended sediment in flash floods. Scatter plots of some elements further confirm that aeolian sand is the major source of the suspended sediment. Factor analysis and the relation between some elements and suspended sediment concentration prove that the greater the aeolian process, the higher the suspended sediment concentration and the greater the contribution of aeolian sand to suspended sediment yield. We conclude that aeolian sand is the greatest contributor to flash floods in the Sudalaer desert stream.

  14. Element Geochemical Analysis of the Contribution of Aeolian Sand to Suspended Sediment in Desert Stream Flash Floods

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Haibing

    2014-01-01

    The interaction of wind and water in semiarid and arid areas usually leads to low-frequency flash flood events in desert rivers, which have adverse effects on river systems and ecology. In arid zones, many aeolian dune-fields terminate in stream channels and deliver aeolian sand to the channels. Although aeolian processes are common to many desert rivers, whether the aeolian processes contribute to fluvial sediment loss is still unknown. Here, we identified the aeolian-fluvial cycling process responsible for the high rate of suspended sediment transport in the Sudalaer desert stream in the Ordos plateau of China. On the basis of element geochemistry data analysis, we found that aeolian sand was similar to suspended sediment in element composition, which suggests that aeolian sand contributes to suspended sediment in flash floods. Scatter plots of some elements further confirm that aeolian sand is the major source of the suspended sediment. Factor analysis and the relation between some elements and suspended sediment concentration prove that the greater the aeolian process, the higher the suspended sediment concentration and the greater the contribution of aeolian sand to suspended sediment yield. We conclude that aeolian sand is the greatest contributor to flash floods in the Sudalaer desert stream. PMID:25089295

  15. Characterization of the aeolian terrain facies in Wadi Araba Desert, southwestern Jordan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saqqa, Walid; Atallah, Mohammad

    2004-09-01

    The sand dunes in Wadi Araba Desert, southwestern Jordan, conform to the influence of two main wind systems: (1) the Shamal " north wind", the main determinant of dune patterns, and (2) the southerly winds caused by the Red Sea Trough and Khamasin winds. Wadi Araba is a narrow elongated morphotectonic depression bordered by the high eastern and western mountain ranges that would obstruct most of westerlies in winter and the hot dry easterlies in summer. Wadi Araba Desert is caused by the rain shadow of the eastern and western topographic highs, with an arid-hyperarid climate and moisture index between 0.1 and <0.05. An aeolian terrain occupies about 16% of Wadi Araba Desert divided into four sand dune fields that contain different dune types, interdunes, and sand sheet facies. The development of the aeolian terrain was more likely in the interglacial periods of latest Pleistocene-Holocene during which wind deposition and fluvial erosion were prompted. The variability of wind direction, wind speed and rates of sand supply led to a variety of simple, compound and complex dune formations. Barchanoid (barchan, barchanoid ridge, transverse dunes) are very common. Linear dunes, nabkhas and climbing dunes are less common. The dunes in Wadi Araba are either mobile (active) or stabilized. Dune fixation is primarily by desert shrubs or cementation in case of aeolianites. Interdune troughs vary from dry to damp. Sand sheets are mainly unvegetated or barren. Dune sands are well sorted to moderately well sorted with more than half the sand falling in fine-medium sand fraction. Interdune areas and sheet sands are moderately-poorly sorted with grain size between 0.06-5 and 0.1-0.5 mm, respectively. Angular-subrounded grain shapes are relatively common on all sides of barchanoid dunes. The sediments of the aeolian terrain are chiefly composed of quartz, feldspar, mica and kaolinite. Calcite and dolomite are less predominant minerals.

  16. Design and initial testing of a piezoelectric sensor to quantify aeolian sand transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raygosa-Barahona, Ruben; Ruiz-Martinez, Gabriel; Mariño-Tapia, Ismael; Heyser-Ojeda, Emilio

    2016-09-01

    This paper describes a sensor for measuring the mass flux of aeolian sand transport based on a low-cost piezo-electric transducer. The device is able to measure time series of aeolian sand transport. Maximum fluxes of 27 mg per second can be achieved. The design includes a sand trap, an electronic amplifier circuit and an embedded system for data collection. A field test was performed, where the basis for signal interpretation and the corresponding measurements of aeolian sand transport are presented. The sensor successfully measures fluxes driven by sea breezes of 10 ms-1, showing the importance of this process for dune-building in the region.

  17. Reconstruction of the coastal morphodynamics of the Fulong-beach dune field in north-eastern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dörschner, Nina; Böse, Margot; Frechen, Manfred

    2010-05-01

    The Fulong-beach dune field is located at the north-eastern coast of Taiwan. Built up of medium and fine grained quartz rich sand, it represents a unique feature of only few kilometres along the east coast of Taiwan. This unique sedimentological regime makes the area most perfectly suitable for age estimations by optically stimulated luminescence (OSL). The dune field is crossed by the Shuangsi-river, which flows into the Pacific Ocean. The coastal area is subjected to very dynamic conditions in the transition zone between land and sea. Due to the constant force of marine and aeolian processes from tides, weather and sediment accumulation by rivers, it is a continuously changing area. Taiwan is located in a very active tectonic zone with high elevation rates, which reach from 4 mm per year at the east coast up to 7 mm per year in the southern parts of the island. Furthermore Taiwan is affected by medial 3.8 typhoons per year and minor earthquakes nearly occur every day (LIN ET AL. 2006). The consequences are high rates of erosion and sediment transport during very short time periods. The Fulong-beach coastal area is densely populated and proud for being a tourism destination. At the northern end of the dune field the Lungmen nuclear power plant is currently under construction. Four separate dune ridges could be identified from a digital elevation model and from field mapping. During the field campaign in October and November 2009 17 samples were taken for OSL-dating (MURRAY ET AL. 1995) out of the four dune ridges as well as out of a more than 30 m high elevated outcrop cut by the Shuangsi-river. The measurement and the evaluation of the OSL-samples will provide us an insight into the duration and intensity of the processes affecting the coastal area of Taiwan during the Holocene. We will give an outline during the poster presentation of the methodical approach and the morphodynamical processes affecting the Fulong-beach dune field in north-eastern Taiwan

  18. Definition and origin of the dune-field pattern at White Sands, New Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baitis, Elke; Kocurek, Gary; Smith, Virginia; Mohrig, David; Ewing, Ryan C.; Peyret, A.-P. B.

    2014-12-01

    A LiDAR-derived digital elevation model (DEM) of a representative portion of the White Sands Dune Field, New Mexico, allows for characterization of an unprecedented range of dune-field parameters and serves as a basis for pattern analysis. Dune-field parameters were measured and statistically analyzed for populations of dunes selected at random and occurring along transects. Populations sampled by these two different methods are comparable, but highlight the sensitivity of transect placement in a dune field that has pattern heterogeneity. Based upon coefficients of variation, pattern emerges at White Sands primarily because of a strong fabric of crestline orientation, and secondarily because of the regularity of spacing between dunes of similar shape as defined by sinuosity, height and length. Linear regression of dune parameters shows that dune geometric relationships vary primarily with crestline length, but there is little correlation between other parameters, including dune spacing and height. This result highlights the sensitivity of identifying topographic heterogeneity in a LiDAR-derived DEM, given that mean ratios conform to global averages. Stripping off the dunes in Matlab shows a terraced surface, which is interpreted to represent paleo-shorelines formed during relative still stands in the overall retreat of Lake Otero. Elevated bands of higher, more closely spaced dunes occur just leeward of the paleo-shorelines. A revised model for the White Sands Dune Field consists of the basinward progradation of successive dune-field segments. Each segment is associated with a paleo-shoreline, and consists of an upwind dune ridge, represented by the elevated bands, and a leeward dune field.

  19. Sand transport by wind, erosion and deposition and the origin of aeolian bedforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duran Vinent, Orencio

    2014-05-01

    Aeolian processes involve the wind action on a sedimentary substrate, namely erosion, sand transport and deposition. They are responsible for the emergence of aeolian dunes and ripples. Here, we discuss the physics of aeolian sediment transport from a physical point of view. Relevant time and length scales associated to turbulent wind fluctuations are summarized using aerodynamic theory. At the microscopic scale, the main forces acting on the grains are detailed. Sand transport is then studied using two phase numerical simulations based on a discrete element method for particles coupled to a continuum Reynolds averaged description of hydrodynamics. We then introduce the concepts - e.g. saturated flux, saturation length - and the relevant framework for the development of a continuum (macroscopic) quantitative description of transport at the core of our current understanding of aeolian dunes formation. At smaller scales, aeolian ripples arise from the interaction of sediment transport and topography. At larger scales, the nonlinear nature of the interaction between dunes leads to the formation of dune fields.

  20. An integrated coastal model for aeolian and hydrodynamic sediment transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baart, F.; den Bieman, J.; van Koningsveld, M.; Luijendijk, A. P.; Parteli, E. J. R.; Plant, N. G.; Roelvink, J. A.; Storms, J. E. A.; de Vries, S.; van Thiel de Vries, J. S. M.; Ye, Q.

    2012-04-01

    Dunes are formed by aeolian and hydrodynamic processes. Over the last decades numerical models were developed that capture our knowledge of the hydrodynamic transport of sediment near the coast. At the same time others have worked on creating numerical models for aeolian-based transport. Here we show a coastal model that integrates three existing numerical models into one online-coupled system. The XBeach model simulates storm-induced erosion (Roelvink et al., 2009). The Delft3D model (Lesser et al., 2004) is used for long term morphology and the Dune model (Durán et al., 2010) is used to simulate the aeolian transport. These three models were adapted to be able to exchange bed updates in real time. The updated models were integrated using the ESMF framework (Hill et al., 2004), a system for composing coupled modeling systems. The goal of this integrated model is to capture the relevant coastal processes at different time and spatial scales. Aeolian transport can be relevant during storms when the strong winds are generating new dunes, but also under relative mild conditions when the dunes are strengthened by transporting sand from the intertidal area to the dunes. Hydrodynamic transport is also relevant during storms, when high water in combination with waves can cause dunes to avalanche and erode. While under normal conditions the hydrodynamic transport can result in an onshore transport of sediment up to the intertidal area. The exchange of sediment in the intertidal area is a dynamic interaction between the hydrodynamic transport and the aeolian transport. This dynamic interaction is particularly important for simulating dune evolution at timescales longer than individual storm events. The main contribution of the integrated model is that it simulates the dynamic exchange of sediment between aeolian and hydrodynamic models in the intertidal area. By integrating the numerical models, we hope to develop a model that has a broader scope and applicability than

  1. Control parameters of the martian dune field positions at planetary scale: tests by the MCD

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    allemand, pascal

    2016-04-01

    The surface of Mars is occupied by more than 500 dunes fields mainly located inside impact craters of the south hemisphere and near the north polar cap. The questions of the activity of martian dunes and of the localization of the martian dune fields are not completely solved. It has been demonstrated recently by image observation and image correlation that some of these dune fields are clearly active. The sand flux of one of them has been even estimated. But there is no global view of the degree of activity of each the dune fields. (2)The topography of impact craters in which dune fields are localized is an important factor of their position. But there is no consensus of the effect of global atmospheric circulation on dune field localization. These two questions are addressed using the results of Mars Climate Database 5.2 (MCD) (Millour, 2015; Forget et al., 1999). The wind fields of the MCD have been first validated against the observations made on active dune fields. Using a classical transport law, the Drift Potential (DP) and the Relative Drift Potential (RDP) have been computed for each dune fields. A good correlation exists between the position of dune fields and specific values of these two parameters. The activity of each dune field is estimated from these parameters and tested on some examples by image observations. Finally a map of sand flow has been computed at the scale of the planet. This map shows that sand and dust is trapped in specific regions. These regions correspond to the area of dune field concentration.

  2. Valles Marineris Dune Fields as Seen From the HiRISE, CTX and THEMIS Cameras

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chojnacki, M.; Moersch, J. E.

    2008-12-01

    Dune fields on Mars offer an opportunity to investigate the nature of eroded sediments and their interactions with the atmosphere. We examined 20 dune fields in Valles Marineris (VM) from the Mars Global Digital Dune Database [Hayward et al., 2007] to identify significant trends in composition, thermophysical properties, morphology and origin. Dune fields were examined in terms of: slopes, albedo, dust index, thermal inertia and the corresponding derived particle size. We have used image data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) instruments CTX [McEwen et al., 2006] and HiRISE [Malin et al., 2007] to establish geologic context for the dune fields, and in particular, to examine their relationships to neighboring geologic units. In general, VM dune fields display greater topographic relief and closer proximity to their inferred source regions than is typical for dune fields elsewhere on Mars. These dunes have a relatively high TES-derived thermal inertia mean value (394 Jm-2K-1 s-1/2, units hereafter assumed), which corresponds to ~1000 μm grains [Pelkey et al., 2001] or very coarse sand sizes. In contrast, typical non-VM dunes have a lower thermal inertia value of ~250, corresponding to ~350 μm grains. To investigate this more closely, high-resolution THEMIS-derived thermal inertia maps were created [Putzig et al., 2004]. CTX and HiRISE visible images revealed that bedrock outcrops are commonly found within dune fields, erroneously elevating the TES thermal inertia values over the ~3x5-km TES footprint. However, even after excluding intra-dune outcrop areas using higher-resolution THEMIS data, several VM dune fields have anomalously high thermal inertia values (>500) compared with non-VM dune fields. It is possible that the high thermal inertia values are indicative of indurated (fossilized) dune surfaces, rather than large individual grain sizes. Coprates Chasma contains a concentration of 6 dune fields both within the main chasm and in depressions to the

  3. Measurement uncertainties in quantifying aeolian mass flux: evidence from wind tunnel and field site data

    PubMed Central

    Keijsers, Joep G.S.; Maroulis, Jerry; Visser, Saskia M.

    2014-01-01

    Aeolian sediment traps are widely used to estimate the total volume of wind-driven sediment transport, but also to study the vertical mass distribution of a saltating sand cloud. The reliability of sediment flux estimations from such measurements are dependent upon the specific configuration of the measurement compartments and the analysis approach used. In this study, we analyse the uncertainty of these measurements by investigating the vertical cumulative distribution and relative sediment flux derived from both wind tunnel and field studies. Vertical flux data was examined using existing data in combination with a newly acquired dataset; comprising meteorological data and sediment fluxes from six different events, using three customized catchers at Ameland beaches in northern Netherlands. Fast-temporal data collected in a wind tunnel shows that the median transport height has a scattered pattern between impact and fluid threshold, that increases linearly with shear velocities above the fluid threshold. For finer sediment, a larger proportion was transported closer to the surface compared to coarser sediment fractions. It was also shown that errors originating from the distribution of sampling compartments, specifically the location of the lowest sediment trap relative to the surface, can be identified using the relative sediment flux. In the field, surface conditions such as surface moisture, surface crusts or frozen surfaces have a more pronounced but localized effect than shear velocity. Uncertainty in aeolian mass flux estimates can be reduced by placing multiple compartments in closer proximity to the surface. PMID:25071984

  4. Mars global digital dune database: MC-30

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hayward, R.K.; Fenton, L.K.; Titus, T.N.; Colaprete, A.; Christensen, P.R.

    2012-01-01

    . Where availability and quality of THEMIS visible (VIS), Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) narrow angle, Mars Express High Resolution Stereo Camera, or Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Context Camera and High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment images allowed, we classified dunes and included some dune slipface measurements, which were derived from gross dune morphology and represent the approximate prevailing wind direction at the last time of significant dune modification. It was beyond the scope of this report to look at the detail needed to discern subtle dune modification. It was also beyond the scope of this report to measure all slipfaces. We attempted to include enough slipface measurements to represent the general circulation (as implied by gross dune morphology) and to give a sense of the complex nature of aeolian activity on Mars. The absence of slipface measurements in a given direction should not be taken as evidence that winds in that direction did not occur. When a dune field was located within a crater, the azimuth from crater centroid to dune field centroid was calculated, as another possible indicator of wind direction. Output from a general circulation model is also included. In addition to polygons locating dune fields, the database includes ~700 of the THEMIS VIS and MOC images that were used to build the database.

  5. Cassini SAR, radiometry, scatterometry and altimetry observations of Titan's dune fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Gall, A.; Janssen, M. A.; Wye, L. C.; Hayes, A. G.; Radebaugh, J.; Savage, C.; Zebker, H.; Lorenz, R. D.; Lunine, J. I.; Kirk, R. L.; Lopes, R. M. C.; Wall, S.; Callahan, P.; Stofan, E. R.; Farr, T.; the Cassini Radar Team

    2011-06-01

    Large expanses of linear dunes cover Titan's equatorial regions. As the Cassini mission continues, more dune fields are becoming unveiled and examined by the microwave radar in all its modes of operation (SAR, radiometry, scatterometry, altimetry) and with an increasing variety of observational geometries. In this paper, we report on Cassini's radar instrument observations of the dune fields mapped through May 2009 and present our key findings in terms of Titan's geology and climate. We estimate that dune fields cover ˜12.5% of Titan's surface, which corresponds to an area of ˜10 million km 2, roughly the area of the United States. If dune sand-sized particles are mainly composed of solid organics as suggested by VIMS observations (Cassini Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer) and atmospheric modeling and supported by radiometry data, dune fields are the largest known organic reservoir on Titan. Dune regions are, with the exception of the polar lakes and seas, the least reflective and most emissive features on this moon. Interestingly, we also find a latitudinal dependence in the dune field microwave properties: up to a latitude of ˜11°, dune fields tend to become less emissive and brighter as one moves northward. Above ˜11° this trend is reversed. The microwave signatures of the dune regions are thought to be primarily controlled by the interdune proportion (relative to that of the dune), roughness and degree of sand cover. In agreement with radiometry and scatterometry observations, SAR images suggest that the fraction of interdunes increases northward up to a latitude of ˜14°. In general, scattering from the subsurface (volume scattering and surface scattering from buried interfaces) makes interdunal regions brighter than the dunes. The observed latitudinal trend may therefore also be partially caused by a gradual thinning of the interdunal sand cover or surrounding sand sheets to the north, thus allowing wave penetration in the underlying substrate

  6. Cassini SAR, radiometry, scatterometry and altimetry observations of Titan's dune fields

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Le, Gall A.; Janssen, M.A.; Wye, L.C.; Hayes, A.G.; Radebaugh, J.; Savage, C.; Zebker, H.; Lorenz, R.D.; Lunine, J.I.; Kirk, R.L.; Lopes, R.M.C.; Wall, S.; Callahan, P.; Stofan, E.R.; Farr, Tom

    2011-01-01

    Large expanses of linear dunes cover Titan's equatorial regions. As the Cassini mission continues, more dune fields are becoming unveiled and examined by the microwave radar in all its modes of operation (SAR, radiometry, scatterometry, altimetry) and with an increasing variety of observational geometries. In this paper, we report on Cassini's radar instrument observations of the dune fields mapped through May 2009 and present our key findings in terms of Titan's geology and climate. We estimate that dune fields cover ???12.5% of Titan's surface, which corresponds to an area of ???10millionkm2, roughly the area of the United States. If dune sand-sized particles are mainly composed of solid organics as suggested by VIMS observations (Cassini Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer) and atmospheric modeling and supported by radiometry data, dune fields are the largest known organic reservoir on Titan. Dune regions are, with the exception of the polar lakes and seas, the least reflective and most emissive features on this moon. Interestingly, we also find a latitudinal dependence in the dune field microwave properties: up to a latitude of ???11??, dune fields tend to become less emissive and brighter as one moves northward. Above ???11?? this trend is reversed. The microwave signatures of the dune regions are thought to be primarily controlled by the interdune proportion (relative to that of the dune), roughness and degree of sand cover. In agreement with radiometry and scatterometry observations, SAR images suggest that the fraction of interdunes increases northward up to a latitude of ???14??. In general, scattering from the subsurface (volume scattering and surface scattering from buried interfaces) makes interdunal regions brighter than the dunes. The observed latitudinal trend may therefore also be partially caused by a gradual thinning of the interdunal sand cover or surrounding sand sheets to the north, thus allowing wave penetration in the underlying

  7. Summary of the Third International Planetary Dunes Workshop: Remote Sensing and Image Analysis of Planetary Dunes, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA, June 12-15, 2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenton, Lori K.; Hayward, Rosalyn K.; Horgan, Briony H. N.; Rubin, David M.; Titus, Timothy N.; Bishop, Mark A.; Burr, Devon M.; Chojnacki, Matthew; Dinwiddie, Cynthia L.; Kerber, Laura; Le Gall, Alice; Michaels, Timothy I.; Neakrase, Lynn D. V.; Newman, Claire E.; Tirsch, Daniela; Yizhaq, Hezi; Zimbelman, James R.

    2013-03-01

    The Third International Planetary Dunes Workshop took place in Flagstaff, AZ, USA during June 12-15, 2012. This meeting brought together a diverse group of researchers to discuss recent advances in terrestrial and planetary research on aeolian bedforms. The workshop included two and a half days of oral and poster presentations, as well as one formal (and one informal) full-day field trip. Similar to its predecessors, the presented work provided new insight on the morphology, dynamics, composition, and origin of aeolian bedforms on Venus, Earth, Mars, and Titan, with some intriguing speculation about potential aeolian processes on Triton (a satellite of Neptune) and Pluto. Major advancements since the previous International Planetary Dunes Workshop include the introduction of several new data analysis and numerical tools and utilization of low-cost field instruments (most notably the time-lapse camera). Most presentations represented advancement towards research priorities identified in both of the prior two workshops, although some previously recommended research approaches were not discussed. In addition, this workshop provided a forum for participants to discuss the uncertain future of the Planetary Aeolian Laboratory; subsequent actions taken as a result of the decisions made during the workshop may lead to an expansion of funding opportunities to use the facilities, as well as other improvements. The interactions during this workshop contributed to the success of the Third International Planetary Dunes Workshop, further developing our understanding of aeolian processes on the aeolian worlds of the Solar System.

  8. Feedback mechanisms linking barrier island transgression and storm response with beach-dune interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houser, C.

    2010-12-01

    This paper examines the multi-scale feedback relationship of event-scale sediment exchange between beach and dune with long-term barrier island transgression. Using field and remotely sensed data from Santa Rosa Island in northwest Florida and South Padre Island in Texas, it is shown how the alongshore variation in storm washover and breaching is coherent (but in different ways) with transverse ridges that developed on the inner-shelf as the island transgressed. Model results suggest that the ridges are reinforced during tropical storms and hurricanes through the offshore transport of beach and dune sediment eroded by the storm surge. These ridges force an alongshore variation in beach and nearshore state that determines the aeolian transport potential and available sediment supplied from beach to dune. On Santa Rosa Island, dune aeolian transport and dune heights are limited by the steep beachface, such that the largest dunes are found at the crest of the transverse ridges where the beachface is more intermediate. In contrast, Aeolian transport and dune heights are shown to be supply limited on Padre Island, which has a relatively dissipative nearshore and beach. The largest dunes on Padre Island are found between transverse ridges where the profile is more intermediate and sediment is more readily supplied by inter- and supra-tidal swash bars. As a consequence, the largest storm surge and washover occurs at the transverse ridges where the dunes are small, while on Santa Rosa Island, the storm surge is greater where the dunes are larger leading to greater loss of sediment offshore. While Padre Island and Santa Rosa Island represent different beach states and exhibit different mechanisms of beach-dune interaction and storm impact, it is shown that small-scale beach-dune interaction is as much dependent on the geologic framework of the island, which developed as it transgressed, as the transgression and storm response are dependent on the exchange of sediment

  9. Aeolian Processes and Landforms in River Valleys of Central Russian Plain in MIS 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matlakhova, Ekaterina

    2015-04-01

    Late Pleistocene terraces in river valleys of Central Russian Plain were subject to aeolian reworking after the alluvial sedimentation had finished. Severe natural conditions of LGM (cold and dry climate, scarce vegetation) contributed activation of aeolian processes. Ground water lowering because of deep pre-LGM incision of rivers made deep aeolian reworking possible at low hypsometric levels of valley bottom. We studied lithological structure of terraces in river valleys of Central Russian Plain. The key sites were located in Seim (the middle Dnieper catchment) and Khoper (the middle Don catchment) river valleys. Field data was combined with quartz grains morphoscopy technique (study of texture of sediment particles using scanning electron microscope). Wide participation of aeolian sediments in terrace deposits was detected. During this study a new technique of the distinguishing of short-term aeolian reworking of alluvial deposits using quartz grains morphoscopy technique was developed. The main problem of interpretation the results of quartz grains morphoscopy is that aeolian signals are sometimes not clear due to short duration of wind action over alluvial sands. However, detailed studies of the quartz grains surfaces under scanning electron microscope helped to solve this problem. We used scanning electron microscope JEOL JSM-661 LV and worked with magnification from ×160 to ×400 for whole grains and up to ×1800 for some parts of grains. Deep aeolian reworking of Late Pleistocene terrace alluvium in river valleys of Central Russian Plain during LGM led to the formation of aeolian covers on the terrace surfaces. Also there are many relict dunes on Late Pleistocene river terrace surfaces. Sometimes the development of aeolian processes could led to more significant changes in the shape of the valley and formation of aeolian aprons. The thickness of aeolian covers can reach 3-5 m or more. Due to this reason morphology and topography of river terraces could

  10. Studies in Aeolian geology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald

    1988-01-01

    The objective of the research was to assess the significance of aeolian (windblown) processes in the evolution of planetary surfaces. The approach was to use wind tunnel simulations, field studies of possible analogs, and analyses of spacecraft data.

  11. Controls on the large-scale spatial variations of dune field properties in the barchanoid portion of White Sands dune field, New Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelletier, Jon D.

    2015-03-01

    Previous studies have shown that sediment fluxes and dune sizes are a maximum near the upwind margin of the White Sands dune field and decrease, to first order, with increasing distance downwind. These patterns have alternatively been attributed to a shear-stress overshoot associated with a roughness transition localized at the upwind margin and to the influence of long-wavelength topography on the hydrology and hence erodibility of dune field sediments. I point out an issue that compromises the shear-stress overshoot model and further test the hypothesis that long-wavelength topographic variations, acting in concert with feedbacks among aerodynamic, granulometric, and geomorphic variables, control dune field properties at White Sands. Building upon the existing literature, I document that the mean and variability of grain sizes, sand dryness, aerodynamic roughness lengths, bed shear stresses, sediment fluxes, and ripple and dune heights all achieve local maxima at the crests of the two most prominent scarps in the dune field, one coincident with the upwind margin and the other located 6-7 km downwind. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling predicts that bed shear stresses, erosion rates, and the supply of relatively coarse, poorly sorted sediments are localized at the two scarps due to flow line convergence, hydrology, and the spatially distributed adjustment of the boundary layer to variations in dune size. As a result, the crests of the scarps have larger ripples due to the granulometric control of ripple size. Larger grain sizes and/or larger ripples lead to larger dunes and hence larger values of bed shear stress in a positive feedback.

  12. Aeolian sediment transport over gobi: Field studies atop the Mogao Grottoes, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Lihai; Zhang, Weimin; Qu, Jianjun; Wang, Junzhan; An, Zhishan; Li, Fang

    2016-06-01

    This paper reports on field studies of aeolian sediment transport over a rough surface-gobi atop the Mogao Grottoes, China, in relation to sediment entrainment, saltation mass flux and transport rate prediction. Wind speeds were measured with five cup anemometers at different heights and sediment entrainment and transport measured with horizontal and vertical sediment traps coupled to weighing sensors, where sediment entrainment and transport were measured synchronously with wind speeds. Four sediment transport events, with a measurement duration ranging between 2.5 and 11 h, were studied. The entrainment threshold determined by the horizontal sediment trap varied between 0.28 and 0.33 m s-1, and the effect of non-erodible roughness elements-gravels increased the entrainment threshold approximately by 1.8 times compared to a uniform sand surface. Unlike the non-monotone curve shape of sediment flux density profile over gobi measured in wind tunnels, the flux density profile measured in the field showed an exponential form. Aeolian sediment transport over gobi could be predicted by an Owen-type saltation model: q = Aρ /gu∗ (u∗2- u∗t2) , where q is sediment transport rate, A is a soil-related dimensionless factor, u∗ is the friction velocity, u∗t is the threshold friction velocity, g is the gravitational acceleration, ρ is the air density. This study indicates that the sediment flux sampling using horizontal and vertical sediment traps coupled to weighing sensors provides a practical method to determine values for A in this model that can provide good estimates of sediment transport rates in gobi areas.

  13. Persistent aeolian activity at Endeavour crater, Meridiani Planum, Mars; new observations from orbit and the surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chojnacki, Matthew; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Moersch, Jeffrey E.; Fenton, Lori K.; Michaels, Timothy I.; Bell, James F., III

    2015-05-01

    Aeolian-driven bedform activity is now known to occur in many regions of Mars, based on surface and orbital observation of contemporary martian ripple and dune mobility events. Many of these sites have only been monitored with sufficient resolution data for the last few Mars years, when the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) began acquiring images of Mars. One exception is the well-monitored Endeavour crater in Meridiani Planum, which was one of the first known sites of unambiguous dune activity (migration and deflation). However, those early detections used lower resolution images over longer temporal baselines (versus the HIRISE data now available), leaving some measurements poorly constrained. New orbital and surface observations of Endeavour show multiple spatial (cm, m, km) and temporal (seasons, Mars year) scales of aeolian-driven surface change, which confirms earlier reports. Dome dunes in the eastern portion of the crater persistently deflate, disseminating dark sand across lighter-toned regolith and/or eroded bright dust, and likely contribute to the crater interior's episodic decreases in orbital albedo measurements. Other dome dunes are detected with the highest migration rates (4-12 m per Mars year) and volumetric sand fluxes reported yet for Mars. Estimated dune construction times or "turnover times" here and elsewhere on Mars are significantly shorter than martian obliquity cycles, implying that it is not necessary to invoke paleoclimate wind regimes to explain current dune morphologies. Located on the crater rim, the Opportunity rover detected evidence for near- and far-field aeolian-driven activity, with observations of spherules/sand movement in the rover workspace, bedform albedo alteration, and dust-lifting events. Observations of intracrater dunes show periodic shifting dark streaks that significantly constrain local wind regimes (directionality and seasonality). Constraints on wind directions from surface and orbital images

  14. The effects of dune slopes and material heterogeneity on the thermal behavior of dune fields in Mars' Southern Hemisphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Shea, P. M.; Putzig, N. E.; Van Kooten, S.; Fenton, L. K.

    2015-12-01

    We analyzed the effects of slopes on the thermal properties of three dune fields in Mars' southern hemisphere. Although slope has important thermal effects, it is not the main driver of observed apparent thermal inertia (ATI) for these dunes. Comparing the ATI seasonal behavior as derived from Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) data with that modeled for compositional heterogeneities, we found that TES results correlate best with models of duricrust overlying and/or horizontally mixing with fines. We measured slopes and aspects in digital terrain models created from High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images of dunes within Proctor, Kaiser, and Wirtz craters. Using the MARSTHERM web toolset, we incorporated the slopes and aspects together with TES albedo, TES thermal inertia, surface pressure, and TES dust opacity, into models of seasonal ATI. Models that incorporate sub-pixel slopes show seasonal day and night ATI values that differ from the TES results by 0-300 J m-2 K-1 s-½. In addition, the models' day-night differences are opposite in sign from those of the TES results, indicating that factors other than slope are involved. We therefore compared the TES data to model results for a broad range of horizontally mixed and two-layered surfaces to seek other possible controls on the observed data, finding that a surface layer of higher thermal inertia is a likely contributor. However, it is clear from this study that the overall composition and morphology of the dune fields are more complex than currently available models allow. Future work will combine slopes with other model parameters such as multi-layered surfaces and lateral changes in layer thickness. Coupling these improvements with broader seasonal coverage from the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) at more thermally favorable times of day would allow more accurate characterization of dune thermal behavior.

  15. Aeolian Slipface Processes on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornwall, Carin; Jackson, Derek; Bourke, Mary; Cooper, Andrew

    2016-04-01

    The surface of Mars is dominated by aeolian features and many locations show ripple and dune migration over the past decade with some sediment fluxes comparable to terrestrial dunes. One of the leading goals in investigating aeolian processes on Mars is to explore the boundary conditions of sediment transport, accumulation, and dune mor-phology in relation to wind regime as well as to quantify migration rates and sediment flux. We combine terrestrial field observations, 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling and remote sensing data to investigate com-plex, small scale wind patterns and grainflow processes on terrestrial and martian dunes. We aim to constrain grain flow magnitudes and frequencies that occur on slipface slopes of dunes in order to improve estimates of martian dune field migration and sediment flux related to wind velocity and flow patterns. A series of ground-based, high resolution laser scans have been collected in the Maspalomas dune field in Gran Canaria, Spain to investigate grainflow frequency, morphology and slipface advancement. Analysis of these laser scans and simultaneous video recordings have revealed a variety of slipface activity. We identify 6 different grain-flow morphologies including, hourglass shape (classic alcove formation with deposit fan below), superficial flow (thin lenses), narrow trough (vertical lines cm in width), sheet, column (vertical alcove walls), and complex (combi-nation of morphologies triggered simultaneously in the same location). Hourglass grainflow morphologies were the most common and occurred regularly. The superficial and narrow trough morphologies were the second most com-mon and frequently occurred in between large grain flows. Sheet grainflows were rare and unpredictable. These flows involved large portions of the slipface (metres across) and mobilized a substantial amount of sediment in one event. We have compared these grainflow morphologies from Maspalomas to those in martian dune fields and

  16. Deviations from self-similarity in barchan form and flux: The case of the Salton Sea dunes, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelletier, Jon D.

    2013-12-01

    are the type of aeolian dune associated with a relatively uniform wind direction, incomplete sand coverage of the substrate, and low vegetation cover. Here I present an analysis of the morphology and migration rates of 40 dunes in the Salton Sea dune field using historical aerial orthophotographs, airborne laser swath mapping, terrestrial laser scanning, and measurements of the aerodynamic roughness length derived from wind velocity profiles. The data demonstrate that the Salton Sea dunes deviate from self-similarity such that smaller dunes have a lower ratio of slip face height to crest height and a lower slope, on average, compared with larger dunes and that smaller dunes migrate more slowly than would be predicted based on an inverse relationship between migration rate and dune height. The lack of self-similarity in barchans has been attributed to the dependence of speed-up ratios on dune size and the presence of a finite saturation length in the physics of aeolian transport. Here I argue that deviations from self-similarity at this study site are more likely due to the systematic decrease in aerodynamic roughness length with increasing elevation on stoss slopes. The data set I developed should prove useful to the aeolian geomorphic community for the further testing of models for barchan evolution.

  17. Dune migration and slip face advancement in the Rabe Crater dune field, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenton, Lori K.

    2006-10-01

    Eight overlapping images of a dune slip face in Rabe Crater (35°E, 44°S) from the Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera show changes interpreted to be multiple grainflow events that would indicate present-day sand saltation and dune migration. New occurrences of these features appear sporadically throughout late southern summer and early fall, and then no further changes occur throughout winter. By the following summer the pattern of old streaks had been almost completely covered by new dark streaks. Assuming that this activity is typical from year to year, migration rates are estimated to be on the order of 1-2 cm per martian year, produced by south to southeasterly winds that blow mostly during the southern spring and early summer. This slow migration rate is consistent with a present-day sediment state that is either transport or availability limited.

  18. Bright dunes on mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thomas, P.C.; Malin, M.C.; Carr, M.H.; Danielson, G.E.; Davies, M.E.; Hartmann, W.K.; Ingersoll, A.P.; James, P.B.; McEwen, A.S.; Soderblom, L.A.; Veverka, J.

    1999-01-01

    Seasonal changes observed on the surface of Mars can in part be attributed to the transport of geological materials by wind. 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.

  19. Spectroscopic study of the Moses Lake dune field, Washington: Determination of compositional distributions and source lithologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bandfield, Joshua L.; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Christensen, Philip R.

    2002-11-01

    Source lithologies and transport histories of materials within the Ephrata Fan are investigated. Data were collected using a variety of remote-sensing, laboratory spectroscopic, and field observations and techniques. Laboratory thermal emission spectra were collected of bedrock within the Grand Coulee, dune samples, and clast deposits. Factor analysis, target transformation, and end-member recovery techniques were applied to the set of dune samples as well as a set of grain size fractions. The dune sample spectra are composed of three components that represent basalt, granodiorite, and clay compositions. The basalt and granodiorite components are similar to spectra of clast and bedrock samples from the Grand Coulee and the Ephrata Fan. The clay component is similar to weathering surfaces located within the dune field. The same components were recovered from the set of grain size fractions from a single dune sample demonstrating a relatively higher basalt concentration with grain sizes greater than ~250 μm. Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner (TIMS) data display significant intradune compositional variation and no discernable interdune compositional variation, indicating that the basalt and granodiorite components were likely deposited simultaneously and subsequently separated by wind based on grain size. Basalt and granodiorite bedrock units within the Channeled Scablands are source materials for the deposits within the Ephrata Fan and Moses Lake dune field. The Columbia River, located 20 km west of the dune field, is not a likely source of material.

  20. Quantifying vegetation and geomorphic patterns within nebkha dune fields using terrestrial laser scanning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nield, Joanna; Gillies, John; Nickling, William

    2014-05-01

    Vegetation and sand in semi-arid and coastal sediment starved environments typically interact and form nebkha dunes. We examine the typical dune and vegetation patterns that form with varying amounts of sediment availability and nebkha maturity at Jornada in the Chihuahuan Desert, New Mexico, USA using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) to separate the plant and sand elements. Manual and automated TLS shrub height extractions compare well at all sites (p=0.48-0.94) enabling the quantification of both solid and plant roughness element components. We find that there is a switch in orientation of the dune elements with respect to dominant wind direction from perpendicular to parallel as the landscape develops from an incipient to mature configuration and mesquite-nebkha streets are enhanced. As the nebkha dunes develop the surface coverage of bare sand increases and dune surfaces exceed the size of their companion shrubs. Roughness density also increases at the mature dune site. Over a three year period up to 20cm of erosion was measured on the upwind faces of the mature nebkha dunes, in agreement with the dominant annual wind direction. However, deposition patterns were more diffuse and influenced by the vegetation patterns. TLS is a useful tool for examining complex sand-vegetation interactions and dune field development.

  1. Morphological characteristics and sand volumes of different coastal dune types in Essaouira Province, Atlantic Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flor-Blanco, Germán; Flor, Germán; Lharti, Saadia; Pando, Luis

    2013-04-01

    Altogether three coastal dune fields, one located north and two south of the city of Essaouira, Atlantic Morocco, have been investigated to establish the distribution and overall sand volumes of various dune types. The purpose of the study was to characterize and classify the aeolian landforms of the coastal dune belt, to estimate their sand volumes and to assess the effectiveness of coastal dune stabilization measures. The northern dune field is 9 km long and lined by a wide artificial foredune complex fixed by vegetation, fences and branches forming a rectangular grid. Active and ephemeral aklé dunes border the inner backshore, while some intrusive dunes have crossed the foredune belt and are migrating farther inland. The total sand volume of the northern dune belt amounts 13,910,255 m3. The central coastal sector comprises a much smaller dune field located just south of the city. It is only 1.2 km long and, with the exception of intrusive dunes, shows all other dune types. The overall sand volume of the central dune field amounts to about 172,463 m3. The southern dune field is characterized by a narrower foredune belt and overall lower dunes that, in addition, become progressively smaller towards the south. In this sector, embryonic dunes (coppice, shadow dunes), tongue-like and tabular dunes, and sand sheets intrude from the beach, the profile of which has a stepped appearance controlled by irregular outcrops of old aeolianite and beach rock. The total volume of the southern dune field amounts 1,446,389 m3. For the whole study area, i.e. for all three dune fields combined, a sand volume of about 15,529,389 m3 has been estimated. The sand of the dune fields is derived from coastal erosion and especially the Tensift River, which enters the sea at Souira Qedima some 70 km north of Essaouira. After entering the sea, the sand is transported southwards by littoral drift driven by the mainly north-westerly swell climate and the Trade Winds blowing from the NNE. This

  2. A review of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) airflow modelling over aeolian landforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smyth, Thomas A. G.

    2016-09-01

    Aeolian landforms occur on all earths' continents as well as on Mars, Titan and Venus and are typically formed where sediment is eroded and/or deposited by near surface wind flow. As wind flow approaches an aeolian landform, secondary flow patterns are created that cause wind to deviate in both speed and direction, producing complex patterns of sediment erosion, deposition and transportation. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling of wind flow has become a common tool to predict and understand secondary wind flow and resulting sediment transport. Its use has progressed from simulating wind flow over simple two dimensional dune shapes, to calculating a multitude of flow parameters over a range of increasingly complex landforms. Analysis of 25 peer reviewed journal articles, found that CFD has been crucial to providing additional insight to flow dynamics on the stoss slope of dunes, the structure and nature of wind flow separation in the lee of landforms and information on localised wind flow variations in large-scale dune fields. The findings of this assay demonstrate that further research is required regarding the parameterisation and modelling of surface roughness, the incorporation of accurate sediment transport to wind flow models, and the prediction of topographic surface changes. CFD is anticipated to be increasingly utilised in aeolian geomorphology and this work aims to be a starting point for aeolian geomorphologists wishing to better understand and review the utilisation of the technique to date.

  3. Origin of late Quaternary dune fields on the Southern High Plains of Texas and New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muhs, D.R.; Holliday, V.T.

    2001-01-01

    Mostly stabilized late Holocene eolian sands on the Southern High Plains of the United States were studied to determine their origins and to assess whether present dune stability depends more strongly on sediment supply, sediment availability, or transport limitations. Geomorphic, sedimentological, and geochemical trends indicate that late Holocene dunes formed under westerly paleowinds, broadly similar to those of today. Mineralogical and geochemical data indicate that the most likely source for the sands is not the Pecos River valley, but the Pleistocene Blackwater Draw Formation, an older, extensive eolian deposit in the region. These observations suggest that new sand is supplied whenever vegetation cover is diminished to the extent that the Blackwater Draw Formation can be eroded, in agreement with modern observations of wind erosion in the region. We conclude, therefore, that Southern High Plains dunes are stabilized primarily due to a vegetation cover. The dunes are thus sediment-availability limited. This conclusion is consistent with the observation that, in the warmest, driest part of the region (where vegetation cover is minimal), dunes are currently active over a large area. Geochemical data indicate that Southern High Plains dunes are the most mineralogically mature (quartz rich) sands yet studied in the Great Plains, which suggests a long history of eolian activity, either in the dune fields or during deposition of the Blackwater Draw Formation.

  4. A field study of the geomorphic effects of sublimating CO2 blocks on dune slopes at Coral Pink Dunes, Utah.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourke, Mary; Nield, Jo; Diniega, Serina; Hansen, Candy; McElwaine, Jim

    2016-04-01

    The seasonal sublimation of CO2 ice is an active driver of present-day surface change on Mars. Diniega et al (2013) proposed that a discrete type of Martian gully, found on southern hemisphere dunes, were formed by the movement of CO2 seasonal ice blocks. These 'Linear Gullies' consist primarily of long (100 m - 2.5 km) grooves with near-uniform width (few-10 m wide), and typical depth of <2 m. They are near-linear throughout most of their length but sometimes contains zones of low-to-high sinuosity. They are commonly bounded by levées. The groove is generally prefaced by a small alcove that originates at the dune brink. We present the results of a set of field experiments that were undertaken at the Coral Pink sand dunes, Utah. These are sister experiments to those undertaken in Arizona (Bourke et al, 2016). The experiments were undertaken on an active barchan dune with a 16 m long lee slope (30.3°). Ambient air temperature was 30°C and relative humidity was 25%; sand surface temperatures were 26.5°C. A CO2 ice block (60x205x210 mm) was placed at the dune brink and with a gentle nudge it moved downslope. The dynamics of the block movement were recorded using a pair of high resolution video cameras. Geomorphological observations were noted and topographic change was quantified using a Leica P20 terrestrial laser scanner with a resolution of 0.8 mm at 10 m, and change detection limits less than 3 mm. The block run was repeated a total of 10 times and launched from the same location at the dune brink. The experiment ran for 45 minutes. The block size was reduced to (45 x 190 x 195 mm) by the end of the run series. The resultant geomorphology shows that the separate block runs occupied different tracks leading to a triangular plan form shape with a maximum width of 3.5 m. This is different from the findings in Arizona where a narrower track span was recorded (1.7m) (Bourke et al, 2016). Similar block dynamics were observed at both sites (as blocks moved straight

  5. The Impact of Devegetated Dune Fields on North American Climate During the Late Medieval Climate Anomaly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cook, B. I.; Seager, R.; Miller, R. L.

    2011-01-01

    During the Medieval Climate Anomaly, North America experienced severe droughts and widespread mobilization of dune fields that persisted for decades. We use an atmosphere general circulation model, forced by a tropical Pacific sea surface temperature reconstruction and changes in the land surface consistent with estimates of dune mobilization (conceptualized as partial devegetation), to investigate whether the devegetation could have exacerbated the medieval droughts. Presence of devegetated dunes in the model significantly increases surface temperatures, but has little impact on precipitation or drought severity, as defined by either the Palmer Drought Severity Index or the ratio of precipitation to potential evapotranspiration. Results are similar to recent studies of the 1930s Dust Bowl drought, suggesting bare soil associated with the dunes, in and of itself, is not sufficient to amplify droughts over North America.

  6. The impact of devegetated dune fields on North American climate during the late Medieval Climate Anomaly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, B. I.; Seager, R.; Miller, R. L.

    2011-07-01

    During the Medieval Climate Anomaly, North America experienced severe droughts and widespread mobilization of dune fields that persisted for decades. We use an atmosphere general circulation model, forced by a tropical Pacific sea surface temperature reconstruction and changes in the land surface consistent with estimates of dune mobilization (conceptualized as partial devegetation), to investigate whether the devegetation could have exacerbated the medieval droughts. Presence of devegetated dunes in the model significantly increases surface temperatures, but has little impact on precipitation or drought severity, as defined by either the Palmer Drought Severity Index or the ratio of precipitation to potential evapotranspiration. Results are similar to recent studies of the 1930s Dust Bowl drought, suggesting bare soil associated with the dunes, in and of itself, is not sufficient to amplify droughts over North America.

  7. Multi-Technique Study of a Martian Aeolian Sand Analog

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuhlman, K.; Marshall, J.; Evans, N. D.; Luttge, A.

    2001-01-01

    Potential scientific returns from technological advances in various forms of microscopy and benchmarking of currently available in-situ measurements using an aeolian red dune sand from the central Australian desert. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  8. Multi-Technique Study of a Martian Aeolian Sand Analog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhlman, K. R.; Marshall, J.; Evans, N. D.; Luttge, A.

    2001-03-01

    Potential scientific returns from technological advances in various forms of microscopy and benchmarking of currently available in-situ measurements using an aeolian red dune sand from the central Australian desert.

  9. The investigation of active Martian dune fields using very high resolution photogrammetric measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jungrack; Kim, Younghwi; Park, Minseong

    2016-10-01

    At the present time, arguments continue regarding the migration speeds of Martian dune fields and their correlation with atmospheric circulation. However, precisely measuring the spatial translation of Martian dunes has succeeded only a very few times—for example, in the Nili Patera study (Bridges et al. 2012) using change-detection algorithms and orbital imagery. Therefore, in this study, we developed a generic procedure to precisely measure the migration of dune fields with recently introduced 25-cm resolution orbital imagery specifically using a high-accuracy photogrammetric processor. The processor was designed to trace estimated dune migration, albeit slight, over the Martian surface by 1) the introduction of very high resolution ortho images and stereo analysis based on hierarchical geodetic control for better initial point settings; 2) positioning error removal throughout the sensor model refinement with a non-rigorous bundle block adjustment, which makes possible the co-alignment of all images in a time series; and 3) improved sub-pixel co-registration algorithms using optical flow with a refinement stage conducted on a pyramidal grid processor and a blunder classifier. Moreover, volumetric changes of Martian dunes were additionally traced by means of stereo analysis and photoclinometry. The established algorithms have been tested using high-resolution HIRISE time-series images over several Martian dune fields. Dune migrations were iteratively processed both spatially and volumetrically, and the results were integrated to be compared to the Martian climate model. Migrations over well-known crater dune fields appeared to be almost static for the considerable temporal periods and were weakly correlated with wind directions estimated by the Mars Climate Database (Millour et al. 2015). As a result, a number of measurements over dune fields in the Mars Global Dune Database (Hayward et al. 2014) covering polar areas and mid-latitude will be demonstrated

  10. Global mapping and characterization of Titan's dune fields with Cassini: Correlation between RADAR and VIMS observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez, S.; Garcia, A.; Lucas, A.; Appéré, T.; Le Gall, A.; Reffet, E.; Le Corre, L.; Le Mouélic, S.; Cornet, T.; Courrech du Pont, S.; Narteau, C.; Bourgeois, O.; Radebaugh, J.; Arnold, K.; Barnes, J. W.; Stephan, K.; Jaumann, R.; Sotin, C.; Brown, R. H.; Lorenz, R. D.; Turtle, E. P.

    2014-02-01

    Vast fields of linear dunes have been observed in the equatorial regions of Titan, Saturn's largest moon. As the Cassini mission, in orbit around Saturn since July 2004 and extended until May 2017, carries on, the high-resolution coverage of Titan's surface increases, revealing new dune fields and allowing refinements in the examination of their properties. In this paper, we present the joint analysis of Cassini's microwave and infrared global scale observations of Titan. Integrating within an up-to-date global map of Titan all the Cassini RADAR and VIMS (Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer) images - the latter being empirically corrected for atmospheric scattering and surface photometry, from July 2004 through July 2013 and June 2010 respectively, we found very good qualitative and quantitative spatial matching between the geographic distribution of the dune fields and a specific infrared spectral unit (namely the “dark brown” unit). The high degree of spatial correlation between dunes and the “dark brown” unit has important implications for Titan's geology and climate. We found that RADAR-mapped dunes and the “dark brown” unit are similarly confined within the equatorial belt (±30° in latitudes) with an equivalent distribution with latitude, suggesting an increasing sediment availability and mobility at Titan's tropics relative to higher latitudes, compatible with the lower ground humidity predicted in equatorial regions by General Circulation Models. Furthermore, the strong correlation between RADAR-mapped dunes and the VIMS “dark brown” unit (72%) allows us to better constrain the total surface area covered by dune material, previously estimated from the extrapolation of the RADAR observations alone. According to our calculations, dune material cover 17.5 ± 1.5% of Titan's surface area, equivalent to a total surface area of 14.6 ± 1.2 million km2 (˜1.5 times the surface area of Earth's Sahara desert). The VIMS “dark brown

  11. Robotic Measurement of Aeolian Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, S.; Duperret, J. M.; Jerolmack, D. J.; Lancaster, N.; Nikolich, G.; Shipley, T. F.; Van Pelt, R. S.; Zobeck, T. M.; Koditschek, D. E.

    2015-12-01

    Local and regional measurements of sand transport and dust emission in complex natural settings presently lack spatiotemporal resolution adequate to inform models relevant for land management, climate policy, and the basic science of geomorphology. Deployments of wind, sand and dust sensors sophisticated enough to begin unpacking the complex relations among wind turbulence, surface roughness, sand flux and dust emission remain largely stationary. Aerial observations from satellites, planes and even UAVs help fill in, but none of these modalities offer the hope of "capturing the action" by being at the right place at the right time relative to the highly localized nature of sediment transport during wind storms. We have been developing a legged robot capable of rapidly traversing desert terrain, and are now adapting it to serve as a platform for scientific instrumentation. We aim to field a semi-autonomous, reactive mobile sensory package suited to the needs of aeolian science that can address the limitations of existing alternatives. This presentation reports on early trials in the Jornada LTER and White Sands National Monument aimed at gathering measurements of airflow and rates of sand transport on a dune face, assessing the role of roughness elements such as vegetation in modifying the wind shear stresses incident on the surface, and estimating erosion susceptibility in a natural arid soil. We will solicit ideas from the audience about other potentially interesting and viable measurement targets. Future close collaboration between aeolian, cognitive and robotics scientists such as we hope to promote through this presentation may yield machines with scientifically relevant sensory suites possessing sufficient autonomy to operate in-situ at the most intense episodes of wind and sediment movement under conditions far too uncomfortable and hazardous for human presence.

  12. Aeolian dust emissions in Southern Africa: field measurements of dynamics and drivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiggs, Giles; Thomas, David; Washington, Richard; King, James; Eckardt, Frank; Bryant, Robert; Nield, Joanna; Dansie, Andrew; Baddock, Matthew; Haustein, Karsten; Engelstaedter, Sebastian; von Holdt, Johannah; Hipondoka, Martin; Seely, Mary

    2016-04-01

    Airborne dust derived from the world's deserts is a critical component of Earth System behaviour, affecting atmospheric, oceanic, biological, and terrestrial processes as well as human health and activities. However, very few data have been collected on the factors that control dust emission from major source areas, or on the characteristics of the dust that is emitted. Such a paucity of data limits the ability of climate models to properly account for the radiative and dynamical impacts triggered by atmospheric dust. This paper presents field data from the DO4 Models (Dust Observations for Models) project that aims to understand the drivers of variability in dust emission processes from major source areas in southern Africa. Data are presented from three field campaigns undertaken between 2011 and 2015. We analysed remote sensing data to identify the key geomorphological units in southern Africa which are responsible for emission of atmospheric dust. These are the Makgadikgadi pans complex in northern Botswana, the ephemeral river valleys of western Namibia, and Etosha Pan in northern Namibia. Etosha Pan is widely recognised as perhaps the most significant source of atmospheric dust in the southern hemisphere. We deployed an array of field equipment within each source region to measure the variability in and dynamics of aeolian erosivity, as well as dust concentration and flux characteristics. This equipment included up to 11 meteorological stations measuring wind shear stress and other standard climatic parameters, Cimel sun photometers, a LiDAR, sediment transport detectors, high-frequency dust concentration monitors, and dust flux samplers. Further data were gathered at each site on the dynamics of surface characteristics and erodibility parameters that impact upon erosion thresholds. These data were augmented by use of a Pi-Swerl portable wind tunnel. Our data represent the first collected at source for these key dust emission areas and highlight the

  13. Modeling the biogeomorphic evolution of coastal dunes in response to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keijsers, J. G. S.; De Groot, A. V.; Riksen, M. J. P. M.

    2016-06-01

    Coastal dunes form in many parts of the world the first flood defense line against the sea. To study effects of climate change on coastal dune evolution, we used a cellular model of dune, beach, and vegetation development. The model was calibrated and validated against field measurements of the Dutch coast, showing good performance for 10 year simulations. A sensitivity analysis showed that dune size and morphology are most sensitive to the rate of aeolian input and wave dissipation. Finally, 100 year climate change scenarios were run to establish the impacts of sea level rise and changes in vegetation growth rate on dune evolution. The results are in good agreement with conceptual models of dune evolution. Sea level rise largely determines the direction of dune evolution: the rate of rising controls whether dunes are able to preserve their height or sand volume while migrating landward. The effect of changing vegetation growth rates, resulting from climate change, is most manifest in dune response to large disturbances. If vegetation is removed halfway into the simulation, vegetation growth rate determines whether a foredune will revegetate and recover its height. Low vegetation growth rates result in mobile dunes that lose sand. The good agreement between observations and predictions indicates that the model successfully incorporates the suite of biogeomorphic and marine processes involved in dune building.

  14. Evidence for Late Amazonian explosive volcanism in the Tharsis Region of Mars: Photogeology of the "Stealth" radar feature and discovery of a dune field among the lava flows west of Arsia Mons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edgett, Kenneth S.; Butler, Bryan J.; Zimbelman, James R.; Hamilton, Victoria E.

    1996-10-01

    ]. Contrary to popular assumption, the Medusae Fossae units are not necessarily "stealthy." Indeed, the presence of yardangs requires that Medusae Fossae units are at least semilithified [8]. High resolution images (15 to 40 meters per pixel) of the lava flow-covered portion of the Stealth region between Arsia Mons and the Medusae Fossae reveal a landscape of mantled surfaces, pedestal craters, yardangs, wind streaks, and dunes. Yardangs and pedestal craters indicate areas of aeolian erosion. Dunes and mantles are places of deposition. While the Stealth radar feature appears to be young relative to the geologic features it overlies, the high resolution views indicate a history of aeolian reworking of the fine-grained material. A NEW DUNE FIELD: One of the largest dune fields outside the martial polar regions has escaped notice for more than 20 years. The dune field is located around 1.0°S, 130.5°W (see Viking image 387B29). All martian dune fields examined to date have thermal inertias around 7 to 10 x 10^-3 cal cm^-2 sec^-0.5 K^-1, consistent with particle sizes in the sand range [10]. The dune field near Arsia Mons is different: the albedo and thermal inertial can not be distinguished from the surrounding terrain. The Tharsis region has a relatively high albedo (> 0.26) and low thermal inertia (< 3 x 10^-3 cal cm^-2 sec^-0.5 K^-1), interpreted to indicate a mantling of fine, bright dust [12]. The observations suggest that the dune field is presently inactive and mantled by fine-grained material. THE DUNE FIELD AS EVIDENCE FOR EXPLOSIVE VOLCANSIM: Aeolian processes commonly rework and redistribute pyroclastic deposits on earth [13, 14]. If enough sand-sized pyroclasts are present, dunes can form [15]. Most aeolian dunes on Earth form by reworking of fluvial or marine sediments. No channels or evidence of water action are evident anywhere near the dunes west of Arsia Mons; the only likely source is the reworking of pyroclasts. The dune field today is inactive either because

  15. Modeling microwave backscatter and thermal emission from linear dune fields: Application to Titan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Gall, A.; Janssen, M. A.; Kirk, R. L.; Lorenz, R. D.

    2014-02-01

    We present an electromagnetic model that relates the microwave backscatter and thermal emission from linear dune fields to their compositional, physical (roughness, subsurface porosity/heterogeneity) and geometrical (slope, orientation) properties. This model shows the value of exploring these highly directional and geometrical features in light of both their backscattering cross-section and emissivity. Compared to Cassini concurrent radar and radiometry data acquired from October 2004 to June 2011 over Titan's dune fields, it provides clues to understand variations among dune regions on the largest Saturn's moon. In particular, it brings a formal support to the idea first advanced in Le Gall et al. (Le Gall, A., Janssen, M.A., Wye, L.C., Hayes, A.G., Radebaugh, J., Savage, C., Zebker, H., Lorenz, R.D., Lunine, J.I., Kirk, R.L., Lopes, R.M.C., Wall, S., Callahan, P., Stofan, E.R., Farr, T. and the Cassini Radar Team [2011]. Icarus 213, 608-624) that the size of the interdune valleys (relative to that of the dunes) varies across Titan as well as the diffuse scattering properties of these interdune areas due to different thickness of sand cover (i.e. bedrock contribution) or degree of compaction/heterogeneity of the sand cover. The Fensal and Belet dune fields, in particular, are quite different in terms of these properties. The comparison between the model and Cassini data also reveals the potential presence of structures, possibly small-superposed dunes, oriented perpendicular to the dune crests in the Aztlan region.

  16. Methane storms as a driver of Titan's dune orientation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charnay, Benjamin; Barth, Erika; Rafkin, Scot; Narteau, Clément; Lebonnois, Sébastien; Rodriguez, Sébastien; Courrech Du Pont, Sylvain; Lucas, Antoine

    2015-05-01

    The equatorial regions of Saturn's moon Titan are covered by linear dunes that propagate eastwards. Global climate models (GCMs), however, predict westward mean surface winds at low latitudes on Titan, similar to the trade winds on Earth. This apparent contradiction has been attributed to Saturn's gravitational tides, large-scale topography and wind statistics, but none of these hypotheses fully explains the global eastward propagation of dunes in Titan's equatorial band. However, above altitudes of about 5 km, Titan's atmosphere is in eastward super-rotation, suggesting that this momentum may be delivered to the surface. Here we assess the influence of equatorial tropical methane storms--which develop at high altitudes during the equinox--on Titan's dune orientation, using mesoscale simulations of convective methane clouds with a GCM wind profile that includes super-rotation. We find that these storms produce fast eastward gust fronts above the surface that exceed the normal westward surface winds. These episodic gusts generated by tropical storms are expected to dominate aeolian transport, leading to eastward propagation of dunes. We therefore suggest a coupling between super-rotation, tropical methane storms and dune formation on Titan. This framework, applied to GCM predictions and analogies to some terrestrial dune fields, explains the linear shape, eastward propagation and poleward divergence of Titan's dunes, and implies an equatorial origin of dune sand.

  17. Aeolian processes in Proctor Crater on Mars: Sedimentary history as analyzed from multiple data sets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fenton, L.K.; Bandfield, J.L.; Ward, A.W.

    2003-01-01

    Proctor Crater is a 150 km diameter crater in Noachis Terra, within the southern highlands of Mars. The analysis leading to the sedimentary history incorporates several data sets including imagery, elevation, composition, and thermal inertia, mostly from the Mars Global Surveyor mission. The resulting stratigraphy reveals that the sedimentary history of Proctor Crater has involved a complex interaction of accumulating and eroding sedimentation. Aeolian features spanning much of the history of the crater interior dominate its surface, including large erosional pits, stratified beds of aeolian sediment, sand dunes, erosional and depositional streaks, dust devil tracks, and small bright bed forms that are probably granule ripples. Long ago, up to 450 m of layered sediment filled the crater basin, now exposed in eroded pits on the crater floor. These sediments are probably part of an ancient deposit of aeolian volcaniclastic material. Since then, some quantity of this material has been eroded from the top layers of the strata. Small, bright dune forms lie stratigraphically beneath the large dark dune field. Relative to the large dark dunes, the bright bed forms are immobile, although in places, their orientations are clearly influenced by the presence of the larger dunes. Their prevalence in the crater and their lack of compositional and thermal distinctiveness relative to the crater floor suggests that these features were produced locally from the eroding basin fill. Dust devil tracks form during the spring and summer, following a west-southwesterly wind. Early in the spring the dust devils are largely restricted to dark patches of sand. As the summer approaches, dust devil tracks become more plentiful and spread to the rest of the crater floor, indicating that the entire region acquires an annual deposit of dust that is revealed by seasonal dust devils. The dark dunes contain few dust devil tracks, suggesting that accumulated dust is swept away directly by saltation

  18. Aeolian processes in Proctor Crater on Mars: Sedimentary history as analyzed from multiple data sets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenton, Lori K.; Bandfield, Joshua L.; Ward, A. Wesley

    2003-12-01

    Proctor Crater is a 150 km diameter crater in Noachis Terra, within the southern highlands of Mars. The analysis leading to the sedimentary history incorporates several data sets including imagery, elevation, composition, and thermal inertia, mostly from the Mars Global Surveyor mission. The resulting stratigraphy reveals that the sedimentary history of Proctor Crater has involved a complex interaction of accumulating and eroding sedimentation. Aeolian features spanning much of the history of the crater interior dominate its surface, including large erosional pits, stratified beds of aeolian sediment, sand dunes, erosional and depositional streaks, dust devil tracks, and small bright bed forms that are probably granule ripples. Long ago, up to 450 m of layered sediment filled the crater basin, now exposed in eroded pits on the crater floor. These sediments are probably part of an ancient deposit of aeolian volcaniclastic material. Since then, some quantity of this material has been eroded from the top layers of the strata. Small, bright dune forms lie stratigraphically beneath the large dark dune field. Relative to the large dark dunes, the bright bed forms are immobile, although in places, their orientations are clearly influenced by the presence of the larger dunes. Their prevalence in the crater and their lack of compositional and thermal distinctiveness relative to the crater floor suggests that these features were produced locally from the eroding basin fill. Dust devil tracks form during the spring and summer, following a west-southwesterly wind. Early in the spring the dust devils are largely restricted to dark patches of sand. As the summer approaches, dust devil tracks become more plentiful and spread to the rest of the crater floor, indicating that the entire region acquires an annual deposit of dust that is revealed by seasonal dust devils. The dark dunes contain few dust devil tracks, suggesting that accumulated dust is swept away directly by saltation

  19. The persistence of large-scale blowouts in largely vegetated coastal dune fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delgado-Fernandez, Irene; Smyth, Thomas; Jackson, Derek; Davidson-Arnott, Robin; Smith, Alexander

    2016-04-01

    Coastal dunes move through natural phases of stability and instability during their evolution, displaying various temporal and spatial patterns across the dune field. Recent observations, however, have shown exceptionally rapid rates of stability through increased vegetative growth. This progressive vegetation colonisation and consequent loss of bare sand on coastal dune systems has been noted worldwide. Percentage reductions in bare sand of as much as 80% within just a few decades can been seen in examples from South Africa, Canada and Brazil as well as coastal dune sites across NW Europe. Despite these dramatic trends towards dune stabilisation, it is not uncommon to find particular examples of large-scale active blowouts and parabolic dunes within largely vegetated coastal dunes. While turbulence and airflow dynamics within features such as blowouts and other dune forms has been studied in detail within recent years, there is a lack of knowledge about what maintains dune mobility at these specific points in otherwise largely stabilized dune fields. This work explores the particular example of the 'Devil's Hole' blowout, Sefton Dunes, NW England. Approximately 300 m long by 100 m wide, its basin is below the water-table which leads to frequent flooding. Sefton Dunes in general have seen a dramatic loss of bare sand since the 1940s. However, and coinciding with this period of dune stabilisation, the 'Devil's Hole' has not only remained active but also grown in size at a rate of 4.5 m year-1 along its main axis. An exploration of factors controlling the maintenance of open bare sand areas at this particular location is examined using a variety of techniques including Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) airflow modelling and in situ empirical measurements of (short-term experiments) of wind turbulence and sand transport. Field measurements of wind parameters and transport processes were collected over a 2 week period during October 2015. Twenty three 3D ultrasonic

  20. Landscape and soil development in Lower Lusatia - results from archaeological and soil-geomorphological investigations on a small dune field nearby Jänschwalde (Brandenburg, Germany)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolay, Alexander; Schulz, Deborah; Raab, Thomas; Raab, Alexandra

    2014-05-01

    Within the apron of the opencast mine Jänschwalde (SE Brandenburg, Germany) archaeological excavations on a multiple populated small dune were complemented with soil-geomorphological investigations in the vicinity. Archaeological findings in the dune stratigraphy (especially cremation graves) are intercalated within aeolian sediments and/or buried soils and thus give a record of the Late Quaternary geomorphodynamic and soil development. The archaeological results confirm the presence of Mesolithic and Neolithic populations at the study site. The Mesolithic to Neolithic factory sites are preferably located on slightly elevated places like the remnants of late glacial dunes. On these late glacial aeolian sediments subsequently a podzol formation took place, indicating stable environmental conditions. At the excavation site, this soil was buried by aeolian drift sands in which a cemetery was found. According to grave goods and grave type the excavated bi-ritual cemetery was created at the end of the 3rd and used until the early 5th century AD (Late Roman Iron Age to Migration Period). Within this period the aeolian activity, proven by about 1 m deep drift sands, increased and a small dune was formed wherein 4 inhumation and approx. 26 cremation graves (Schichtgräberfeld) were documented. The cremation graves were mainly recorded as small reddish/gray 5-20 cm thick sandy layers which were separated by the drift sand layers. Soil-geomorphological investigations, two kilometers north of the excavated cremation and settle-ment site corroborate the detected phases of morphological stability and aeolian activity in this time period. Our complementing investigations indicate that the Late Roman Iron Age to Migration Period population had affected the landscape due to deforestation and agricultural land use.

  1. Tracking Topographic Changes from Multitemporal Stereo Images, Application to the Nili Patera Dune Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avouac, J.; Ayoub, F.; Bridges, N. T.; Leprince, S.; Lucas, A.

    2012-12-01

    The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) in orbit around Mars provides images with a nominal ground resolution of 25cm. Its agility allows imaging a same scene with stereo view angles thus allowing for for Digital elevation Model (DEM) extraction through stereo-photogrammetry. This dataset thus offers an exceptional opportunity to measure the topography with high precision and track its eventual evolution with time. In this presentation, we will discuss how multi-temporal acquisitions of HiRISE images of the Nili Patera dune field allow tracking ripples migration, assess sand fluxes and dunes activity. We investigated in particular the use of multi-temporal DEMs to monitor the migration and morphologic evolution of the dune field. We present here the methodology used and the various challenges that must be overcome to best exploit the multi-temporal images. Two DEMs were extracted from two stereo images pairs acquired 390 earth days apart in 2010-2011 using SOCET SET photogrammetry software, with a 1m post-spacing and a vertical accuracy of few tens of centimeters. Prior to comparison the DEMs registration, which was not precise enough out of SOCET-SET, was improved by wrapping the second DEM onto the first one using the bedrock only as a support for registration. The vertical registration residual was estimated at around 40cm RMSE and is mostly due to CCD misalignment and uncorrected spacecraft attitudes. Changes of elevation over time are usually determined from DEMs differentiation: provided that DEMs are perfectly registered and sampled on the same grid, this approach readily quantifies erosion and deposition processes. As the dunes have moved horizontally, they are not physically aligned anymore in the DEMs, and their morphologic evolution cannot be recovered easily from differentiating the DEMs. In this particular setting the topographic evolution is best recovered from correlation of the DEMs. We measure that the fastest dunes have migrated by

  2. 2008 Weather and Aeolian Sand-Transport Data from the Colorado River Corridor, Grand Canyon, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Draut, Amy E.; Sondossi, Hoda A.; Hazel, Joseph E.; Andrews, Timothy; Fairley, Helen C.; Brown, Christopher R.; Vanaman, Karen M.

    2009-01-01

    This report presents measurements of weather parameters and aeolian (windblown) sand transport made in 2008 near selected archaeological sites in the Colorado River corridor through Grand Canyon, Ariz. The quantitative methods and data discussed here form a basis for monitoring ecosystem processes that affect archeological-site stability. Combined with forthcoming work to evaluate landscape evolution at nearby archaeological sites, these data can be used to document the relationship between physical processes, including weather and aeolian sand transport, and their effects on the physical integrity of archaeological sites. Data collected in 2008 reveal event- and seasonal-scale variations in rainfall, wind, temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure. Broad seasonal changes in aeolian sediment flux are also apparent at most study sites. The continuation of monitoring that began in 2007, and installation of equipment at several new sites in early 2008, allowed evaluation of the effects of the March 2008 high-flow experiment (HFE) on aeolian sand transport. At two of the nine sites studied, spring and summer winds reworked 2008 HFE sandbars to form new aeolian dunes, at which sand moved inland toward larger, well-established dune fields. At the other seven study sites, neither dune formation nor enhanced sand transport after the HFE were observed. At several of those sites, dominant wind directions in spring 2008 were not oriented such that much HFE sand would have moved inland; at other sites, lack of increased inland sand flux is attributable to lack of sandbar enlargement near the study sites or to inhibition of sand movement by vegetation or local topography.

  3. A field study of coherent flow structures over low angle dunes: Fraser Estuary, British Columbia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradley, R. W.; Hendershot, M. L.; Venditti, J. G.; Kostaschuk, R. A.; Allison, M. A.; Church, M. A.

    2011-12-01

    Aqueous dunes are present in nearly all sand bedded alluvial channels and can significantly influence flow resistance and sediment transport and deposition. The geometry of these bedforms can take on a high angle asymmetrical or low angle symmetrical shape. While advances have been made in understanding the mean and turbulent flow over high angle dunes, far less progress has been made in detailing flow over low angle dunes, commonly observed in large rivers, due to difficulties measuring near the bed and quantifying the turbulence over these bedforms. This field study documents the flow over low angle dunes in the Fraser Estuary, British Columbia, using an acoustic Doppler profiler (aDcp) to measure 3-D flow characteristics and a multi-beam echo sounder (MBES) to provide high-resolution bed topography. Measurements were made over a dune field (~1 km long and ~0.5 wide) through two semi-diurnal tidal cycles during the 2010 freshet. We examine the coupling between the bedform morphology and the generation of coherent flow structures. Bedforms in the dune field range from low-angle symmetric to higher angle asymmetric and vary over tidal cycles; however, none display the classic angle of repose geometry. Mean flow velocity increases on falling tide while it decreases the rising tide. At lower tides, large scale motions caused by topographic forcing emerge on stoss slopes and rise up over the crest producing variations in suspended sediment over the bedforms. Our analysis is intended to contribute insight into what controls the occurrence of low angle bedforms in rivers.

  4. 2009 weather and aeolian sand-transport data from the Colorado River corridor, Grand Canyon, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Draut, Amy E.; Sondossi, Hoda A.; Dealy, Timothy P.; Hazel, Joseph E.; Fairley, Helen C.; Brown, Christopher R.

    2010-01-01

    This report presents measurements of weather parameters and aeolian sand transport made in 2009 near selected archeological sites in the Colorado River corridor through Grand Canyon, Ariz. The quantitative methods and data discussed here form a basis for monitoring ecosystem processes that affect archeological-site stability. Combined with forthcoming work to evaluate landscape evolution at nearby archeological sites, these data can be used to document the relation between physical processes, including weather and aeolian sand transport, and their effects on the physical integrity of archeological sites. Data collected in 2009 reveal event- and seasonal-scale variations in rainfall, wind, temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure. Broad seasonal changes in aeolian sediment flux are also apparent at most study sites. Differences in weather patterns between 2008 and 2009 included an earlier spring windy season, greater spring precipitation even though 2009 annual rainfall totals were in general substantially lower than in 2008, and earlier onset of the reduced diurnal barometric-pressure fluctuations commonly associated with summer monsoon conditions. Weather patterns in middle to late 2009 were apparently affected by a transition of the ENSO cycle from a neutral phase to the El Ni?o phase. The continuation of monitoring that began in 2007, and installation of additional equipment at several new sites in early 2008, allowed evaluation of the effects of the March 2008 high-flow experiment (HFE) on aeolian sand transport. As reported earlier, at 2 of the 9 sites studied, spring and summer winds in 2008 reworked the HFE sandbars to form new aeolian dunes, where sand moved inland toward larger, well-established dune fields. Observations in 2009 showed that farther inland migration of the dune at one of those two sites is likely inhibited by vegetation. At the other location, the new aeolian dune form was found to have moved 10 m inland toward older, well

  5. Quantification of Barchan Dune Evolution over Monthly to Interannual Time Scales Using Airborne LIDAR and Terrestrial Laser Scanning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoose, M.; Pelletier, J. D.

    2013-12-01

    Barchan dunes are among the most rapidly evolving landforms on Earth, with migration rates of up to 100 m/yr. Despite the central importance of barchan dunes in aeolian geomorphology and the relative ease of quantifying changes in their shape and position, basic questions remain about barchan dune evolution. For example, how does the position of a dune relative to its neighbors affect the evolution of a dune? The presence of a dune influences the air flow around the dune, potentially modifying the evolution of neighboring dunes. Also, a dune may grow in size more rapidly if neighboring dunes are located immediately upwind of the dune, thus providing additional sources of sand for the dune relative to the case of an isolated dune. To address these questions, we quantified the change in the position of 14 dunes, and the sand flux among them, in the Salton Sea dune field over two time scales: 1 month and 3 years. The 1-month change map was created using two TLS surveys completed in the summer of 2013, and the 3-year change map was created using the results of a TLS survey in 2013 and an airborne LIDAR survey from 2010. The PHOENICS Computational Fluid Dynamics solver was used to predict the change in the positions of the dunes and the flux of sand among them. PHOENICS was used to model the shear stress over the dune field using DEM data from the beginning of each interval of study, together with data on the wind profile collected at the study site using a wind tower. The output of PHOENICS was used as input to a shear-stress-dependent aeolian transport formula with the effect of slope on the threshold of entrainment included. Preliminary analyses of the ALSM- and TLS-derived change maps indicate that clustered dunes interact via boundary layer effects to alter the migration and growth rates of their downwind neighbors. Additionally, the effects of subdominant, southeasterly winds were observed in the 1-month change map in the form of sand wedges deposited along the

  6. A seismic search for the paleoshorelines of Lake Otero beneath White Sands Dune Field, New Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, P. F.; Reece, R.; Ewing, R. C.

    2014-12-01

    The Tularosa Basin, which now houses White Sands Dune Field, was once occupied by Pleistocene Lake Otero. Several paleoshorelines of Lake Otero have been identified throughout the basin by field surveys and remote sensing using digital elevation models. Up to four shorelines may be buried beneath White Sands Dune Field and it has been posited that the current upwind margin of White Sands coincides with a one of these shorelines. Here we employ a novel geophysical instrument and method to image the subsurface: the seismic land streamer. The land streamer utilizes weighted base plates and one-component vertical geophones in a towed array. With a seisgun acoustic source, we imaged in the Alkali Flats area near the upwind margin, one potential location of paleoshorelines, as well as the Film Lot closer to the center of the dune field. Surfaces in both locations are indurated gypsum playa, which made seismic imaging possible and successful. We collected one SW-NE trending seismic line at each location, which matches the dominant wind and dune migration directions. Based on initial data analysis we find some subsurface structure that may coincide with the paleo lake bed of Lake Otero. The successful demonstration of this new method provides the foundation for an expanded regional subsurface study to image the strata and structure of the Tularosa Basin.

  7. Mars Global Digital Dune Database; MC-1

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hayward, R.K.; Fenton, L.K.; Tanaka, K.L.; Titus, T.N.; Colaprete, A.; Christensen, P.R.

    2010-01-01

    beyond the scope of this report to measure all slipfaces. We attempted to include enough slipface measurements to represent the general circulation (as implied by gross dune morphology) and to give a sense of the complex nature of aeolian activity on Mars. The absence of slipface measurements in a given direction should not be taken as evidence that winds in that direction did not occur. When a dune field was located within a crater, the azimuth from crater centroid to dune field centroid was calculated, as another possible indicator of wind direction. Output from a general circulation model (GCM) is also included. In addition to polygons locating dune fields, the database includes THEMIS visible (VIS) and Mars Orbiter Camera Narrow Angle (MOC NA) images that were used to build the database. The database is presented in a variety of formats. It is presented as an ArcReader project which can be opened using the free ArcReader software. The latest version of ArcReader can be downloaded at http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/arcreader/download.html. The database is also presented in an ArcMap project. The ArcMap project allows fuller use of the data, but requires ESRI ArcMap(Registered) software. A fuller description of the projects can be found in the NP_Dunes_ReadMe file (NP_Dunes_ReadMe folder_ and the NP_Dunes_ReadMe_GIS file (NP_Documentation folder). For users who prefer to create their own projects, the data are available in ESRI shapefile and geodatabase formats, as well as the open Geography Markup Language (GML) format. A printable map of the dunes and craters in the database is available as a Portable Document Format (PDF) document. The map is also included as a JPEG file. (NP_Documentation folder) Documentation files are available in PDF and ASCII (.txt) files. Tables are available in both Excel and ASCII (.txt)

  8. Effect of Holocene sea level change on aeolian activity in the coastal plain of Ras El Hekma area, NW coast of Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farghaly, Enas; Torab, Magdy

    2015-04-01

    Ras El Hekma area located in north western coast of Egypt, west of Alexandria city for about 220 km, in this area, environmental changes during the Holocene can be interpreted based on morphological and sedimentological similarities between Holocene geomorphic features such as cemented beaches and fossilized dunes with recent coastal features. Sand dunes and nebkhas are the most common aeolian landforms and they occur in semi-arid climatic conditions. The active separated coastal dunes and nebkhas dunes of Ras El-Hekma area are located between the swash zone and the coastal limestone ridges as well as in the coastal sabkhas. The effect of waves during storms reaches far beyond the actual beach and can cause great changes to sandy beaches at an exceptional speed. Sand accumulated by swash drifts with the wind on open beaches and bays. The aeolian sand, which originates from fluvial-marine sediments washed by sea waves. the available sediment depends on fluvial transport to the littoral zone and on biological activity in the carbonate environments as well as on longshore and cross-shore currents. This paper treats the coastal dunes in Ras El Hekma area in their entirety and defines the effects of sea level change on coastal sand dunes and sabkhas dunes, it depends upon field geomorphic surveying, sampling and mapping as well as satellite image interpretation using ENVI software and GIS techniques.

  9. Centennial record of wind-field variations from a coastal dune (German Bight)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindhorst, Sebastian; Costas, Iria; Betzler, Christian

    2015-04-01

    We show that coastal wandering dunes bear a valuable climate record on time scales of seasons to years and can provide data on past wind-field variations for regions and/or time spans where no instrumental weather observations exist. To access this archive, we propose a combined approach, integrating sedimentological and geophysical methods. Sedimentary architecture and grain-size properties of a 32 m high parabolic dune on the barrier island Sylt (southern North Sea) were investigated using ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and laser-diffraction particle-size analyzer. A chronostratigraphic framework was established based on a series of historical aerial images covering the time period 1936 to 2009. GPR data reveal the internal sedimentary architecture of the dune with an effective resolution of about 0.3 m. Large inland-dipping foresets, being the result of the predominance of onshore winds, form the building block of the dune. The dune exhibits a complex internal architecture comprising numerous unconformities, i.e. gaps in the sedimentary record, slumps, top-lap geometries and shifting depocenters. Therefore, careful mapping of the dunes architectural elements prior to sediment sampling is essential. Grain-size statistics are based on 4900 samples taken equidistantly in a 245 m long trench parallel to the direction of dune movement. Sedimentological proxy data were calibrated using a time series of instrumental weather observations from a meteorological station, 2 km off the dune. These data reach back until the year 1950. Variations in wind speed are best reflected by the sorting of the grain-size distribution: periods of weaker winds result in better sorted sediments, whereas higher wind speeds yield a wider grain-size spectrum. This approach allows us to present a reconstruction of variations in the strength of onshore directed winds covering approximately the last 100 years. Our data show slightly increased wind speeds at the beginning of the 20th century

  10. Radar-aeolian roughness project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald; Dobrovolskis, A.; Gaddis, L.; Iversen, J. D.; Lancaster, N.; Leach, Rodman N.; Rasnussen, K.; Saunders, S.; Vanzyl, J.; Wall, S.

    1991-01-01

    The objective is to establish an empirical relationship between measurements of radar, aeolian, and surface roughness on a variety of natural surfaces and to understand the underlying physical causes. This relationship will form the basis for developing a predictive equation to derive aeolian roughness from radar backscatter. Results are given from investigations carried out in 1989 on the principal elements of the project, with separate sections on field studies, radar data analysis, laboratory simulations, and development of theory for planetary applications.

  11. High-Resolution Monitoring of Coastal Dune Erosion and Growth Using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruessink, G.; Markies, H.; Van Maarseveen, M.

    2014-12-01

    Coastal foredunes lose and gain sand through marine and aeolian processes, but coastal-evolution models that can accurately predict both wave-driven dune erosion and wind-blown dune growth are non-existing. This is, together with a limited understanding of coastal aeolian process dynamics, due to the lack of adequate field data sets from which erosion and supply volumes can be studied simultaneously. Here, we quantify coastal foredune dynamics using nine topographic surveys performed near Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands, between September 2011 and March 2014 using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The approximately 0.75-km long study site comprises a 30-100 m wide sandy beach and a 20-25 m high foredune, of which the higher parts are densely vegetated with European marram grass. Using a structure-from-motion workflow, the 200-500 photographs taken during each UAV flight were processed into a point cloud, from which a geo-referenced digital surface model with a 0.25 x 0.25 m resolution was subsequently computed. Our data set contains two dune-erosion events, including that due to storm Xaver (December 2013), which caused one of the highest surge levels in the southern North Sea region for the last decades. Dune erosion during both events varied alongshore from the destruction of embryonic dunes on the upper beach to the slumping of the entire dune face. During the first storm (January 2012), erosion volumes ranged from 5 m3/m in the (former) embryonic dune field to over 40 m3/m elsewhere. During the subsequent 11 (spring - autumn) months, the foredune accreted by (on average) 8 m3/m, again with substantial alongshore variability (0 - 20 m3/m). Intriguingly, volume changes during the 2012-2013 winter were minimal. We will compare the observed aeolian supply rates with model predictions and discuss reasons for their temporal variability. Funded by the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research NWO.

  12. Secondary recovery from the Dune Field, Crane County, Texas, is viable through mine workings

    SciTech Connect

    Ayler, M.F. )

    1991-03-01

    Data in Report of Investigations No. 168, published by the Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas, indicate the Dune field is a good candidate for secondary recovery of mobile residual oil through an oil mine as described in US Patent {number sign}4,458,945. If trends identified in RI No. 168 can be extended into adjacent sections, oil recovery in the range of $10.00 per barrel or less should be possible. Mine workings will permit a more detailed mapping field jointing and fracturing, in turn permitting better placement of wells on 1 acre or closer spacing. Shafts to the surface would be a mile or more apart greatly decreasing environmental impact. Wastewater generated could be re-introduced to assist in retaining reservoir pressures. If mine workings are driven in hard limestones, as would be possible in the Dune field, produced mine spoil would be marketable as gravel for the concrete industry.

  13. Landscape evolution on Mars - A model of aeolian denudation in Gale Crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Day, M. D.; Kocurek, G.; Grotzinger, J. P.

    2015-12-01

    Aeolian erosion has been the dominant geomorphic agent to shape the surface of Mars for the past ~3.5 billion years. Although individual geomorphic features evidencing aeolian activity are well understood (e.g., yardangs, dune fields, and wind streaks), landscapes formed by aeolian erosion remain poorly characterized. Intra-crater sedimentary mounds are hypothesized to have formed by wind deflation of craters once filled with flat-lying strata, and, therefore, should be surrounded by landscapes formed by aeolian erosion. Here we present a landscape evolution model that provides both an initial characterization of aeolian landscapes, and a mechanism for large-scale excavation. Wind excavation of Gale Crater to form the 5 km high Mount Sharp would require removal of 6.4 x 104 km3 of sediment. Imagery in Gale Crater from satellites and the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity shows a surface characterized by first-cycle aeolian erosion of bedrock. The overall landscape is interpreted to represent stages in a cycle of aeolian deflation and excavation, enhanced by physical weathering (e.g., thermal fracturing, cratering). Initial wind erosion of bedrock is enhanced along fractures, producing retreating scarps. Underlying less resistant layers then erode faster than the armoring cap rock, increasing relief in scarps to form retreating mesas. As scarp retreat continues, boulders from the armoring cap unit break away and cover the hillslopes of less resistant material below the scarps. Eventually all material from the capping unit is eroded away and a boulder-capped hill remains. Winnowing of fine material flattens hillslope topography, leaving behind a desert pavement. Over long enough time, this pavement is breached and the cycle begins anew. This cycle of landscape denudation by the wind is similar to that of water, but lacks characteristic subaqueous features such as dendritic drainage networks.

  14. Investigation of the age and migration of reversing dunes in Antarctica using GPR and OSL, with implications for GPR on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bristow, C. S.; Augustinus, P. C.; Wallis, I. C.; Jol, H. M.; Rhodes, E. J.

    2010-01-01

    GPR provides high resolution images of aeolian strata in frozen sand in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. The results have positive implications for potential GPR surveys of aeolian strata on Mars. Within the Lower Victoria Valley, seasonal changes in climate and a topographically-constrained wind regime result in significant wind reversals. As a consequence, dunes show reversing crest-lines and flattened dune crests. Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys of the dunes reveal sets of cross-strata and low-angle bounding surfaces produced by reversing winds. Summer sand transport appears to be dominant and this is attributed to the seasonal increase in solar radiation. Solar radiation which heats the valley floor melts ice cements making sand available for transport. At the same time, solar heating of the valley floor generates easterly winds that transport the sand, contributing to the resultant westward dune migration. The location of the dune field along the northern edge of the Lower Victoria Valley provides some shelter from the powerful föehn and katabatic winds that sweep down the valley. Topographic steering of the winds along the valley and drag against the valley wall has probably aided the formation, migration and preservation of the dune field. Optically-stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages from dune deposits range from 0 to 1.3 kyr showing that the dune field has been present for at least 1000 yr. The OSL ages are used to calculate end-point migration rates of 0.05 to 1.3 m/yr, which are lower than migration rates reported from recent surveys of the Packard dunes and lower than similar-sized dunes in low-latitude deserts. The relatively low rates of migration are attributed to a combination of dune crest reversal under a bimodal wind regime and ice cement that reduces dune deflation and restricts sand entrainment.

  15. Holocene coastal dune fields used as indicators of net littoral transport: West Coast, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterson, C.D.; Stock, E.; Hart, R.; Percy, D.; Hostetler, S.W.; Knott, J.R.

    2010-01-01

    Between Point Grenville, Washington, and Point Conception, California (1500 km distance) 21 dune fields record longshore transport in 20 littoral cells during the late Holocene. The direction of predominant littoral transport is established by relative positions of dune fields (north, central, or south) in 17 representative littoral cells. Dune field position is north of cell midpoints in northernmost Oregon and Washington, but is south of cell midpoints in southern Oregon and California. Downdrift sand trapping occurs at significant changes in shoreline angle and/or at bounding headlands that project at least 2.5 km seaward from the general coastal trend. Sand bypassing occurs around small headlands of less than 0.5 km in projection distance. A northward shift of the winter low-pressure center in the northeast Pacific Ocean is modeled from 11 ka to 0 ka. Nearshore current forcing in southern Oregon and northern California switched from northward in earliest Holocene time to southward in late Holocene time. The late Holocene (5-0 ka) is generally characterized by net northward littoral drift in northernmost Oregon and Washington and by net southward littoral drift in southernmost Oregon and California. A regional divergence of net transport direction in central Oregon, i.e. no net drift, is consistent with modeled wind and wave forcing at the present time (0 ka). ?? 2009 Elsevier B.V.

  16. Equinoctial Activity Over Titan Dune Fields Revealed by Cassini/vims

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez, S.; Le Mouelic, S.; Barnes, J. W.; Hirtzig, M.; Rannou, P.; Sotin, C.; Brown, R. H.; Bow, J.; Vixie, G.; Cornet, T.; Bourgeois, O.; Narteau, C.; Courrech Du Pont, S.; Le Gall, A.; Reffet, E.; Griffith, C. A.; Jaumann, R.; Stephan, K.; Buratti, B. J.; Clark, R. N.; Baines, K. H.; Nicholson, P. D.; Coustenis, A.

    2012-12-01

    Titan, the largest satellite of Saturn, is the only satellite in the solar system with a dense atmosphere. The close and continuous observations of Titan by the Cassini spacecraft, in orbit around Saturn since July 2004, bring us evidences that Titan troposphere and low stratosphere experience an exotic, but complete meteorological cycle similar to the Earth hydrological cycle, with hydrocarbons evaporation, condensation in clouds, and rainfall. Cassini monitoring campaigns also demonstrate that Titan's cloud coverage and climate vary with latitude. Titan's tropics, with globally weak meteorological activity and widespread dune fields, seem to be slightly more arid than the poles, where extensive and numerous liquid reservoirs and sustained cloud activity have been discovered. Only a few tropo-spheric clouds have been observed at Titan's tropics during the southern summer. As equinox was approaching (in August 2009), they occurred more frequently and appeared to grow in strength and size. We present here the observation of intense brightening at Titan's tropics, very close to the equinox. These detections were conducted with the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) onboard Cassini. We will discuss the VIMS images of the three individual events detected so far, observed during the Titan's flybys T56 (22 May 2009), T65 (13 January 2010) and T70 (21 June 2010). T56, T65 and T70 observations show an intense and transient brighten-ing of large regions very close to the equator, right over the extensive dune fields of Senkyo, Belet and Shangri-La. They all appear spectrally and morphologically different from all transient surface features or atmospheric phenomena previously reported. Indeed, these events share in particular a strong brightening at wavelengths greater than 2 μm (especially at 5 μm), making them spectrally distinct from the small tropical clouds observed before the equinox and the large storms observed near the equator in September and October

  17. Poster 17: Methane storms as a driver of Titan's dune orientation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charnay, Benjamin; Barth, Erika; Rafkin, Scot; Narteau, Clement; Lebonnois, Sebastien; Rodriguez, Sebastien; Courech Du Pont, Sylvain; Lucas, Antoine

    2016-06-01

    Titan's equatorial regions are covered by eastward oriented linear dunes [1,2]. This direction is opposite to mean surface winds simulated by Global Climate Models (GCMs) at these latitudes, oriented westward as trade winds on Earth. We propose that Titan's dune orientation is actually determined by equinoctial tropical methane storms producing a coupling with superrotation and dune formation [3]. Using meso-scale simulations of convective methane clouds [4] with a GCM wind profile featuring the superrotation [5,6], we show that Titan's storms should produce fast eastward gust fronts above the surface. Such gusts dominate the aeolian transport. Using GCM wind calculations and analogies with terrestrial dune fields [7], we show that Titan's dune propagation occurs eastward under these conditions. Finally, this scenario combining global circulation winds and methane storms can explain other major features of Titan's dunes as the divergence from the equator or the dune size and spacing. It also implies an equatorial origin of Titan's dune sand and a possible occurence of dust storms.

  18. Environmental Controls and Eco-geomorphic Interactions of the Barchan-to-parabolic Dune Stabilisation and the Parabolic-to-barchan Dune Reactivation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Na; Baas, Andreas

    2015-04-01

    Parabolic dunes are one of a few common aeolian landforms which are highly controlled by eco-geomorphic interactions. Parabolic dunes, on the one hand, can be developed from highly mobile dune landforms, barchans for instance, in an ameliorated vegetation condition; or on the other hand, they can be reactivated and transformed back into mobile dunes due to vegetation deterioration. The fundamental mechanisms and eco-geomorphic interactions controlling both dune transformations remain poorly understood. To bridge the gap between complex processes involved in dune transformations on a relatively long temporal scale and real world monitoring records on a very limited temporal scale, this research has extended the DECAL model to incorporate 'dynamic' growth functions and the different 'growth' of perennial shrubs between growing and non-growing seasons, informed by field measurements and remote sensing analysis, to explore environmental controls and eco-geomorphic interactions of both types of dune transformation. A non-dimensional 'dune stabilising index' is proposed to capture the interactions between environmental controls (i.e. the capabilities of vegetation to withstand wind erosion and sand burial, the sandy substratum thickness, the height of the initial dune, and the sand transport potential), and establish the linkage between these controls and the geometry of a stabilising dune. An example demonstrates how to use the power-law relationship between the dune stabilising index and the normalised migration distance to assist in extrapolating the historical trajectories of transforming dunes. The modelling results also show that a slight increase in vegetation cover of an initial parabolic dune can significantly increase the reactivation threshold of climatic impact (both drought stress and wind strength) required to reactivate a stabilising parabolic dune into a barchan. Four eco-geomorphic interaction zones that govern a barchan-to-parabolic dune transformation

  19. Geochemical and magnetic characteristics of aeolian transported materials under different near-surface wind fields: An experimental study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xunming; Lang, Lili; Hua, Ting; Zhang, Caixia; Xia, Dunsheng

    2015-06-01

    By combining field investigations, field sampling, wind-tunnel experiments, and laboratory measurements, the relationships between near-surface winds and the geochemical and magnetic characteristics of wind-transported materials were statistically analyzed. Our study was conducted using bulk surface samples from a major potential dust source area in Central Asia (the Ala Shan Plateau). Under near-surface wind velocities ranging from 8 to 22 m/s, the coefficients of variation ranged between 1.6% and 14.9% for χlf, 1.4% and 11.0% for χARM, and 0.7% and 12.3% for SIRM of the transported materials. For the 26 elements and oxides investigated, the coefficients of variation of Ti, Cr, As, Zr, Ce, Pb, and Cu in the samples were greater than 10%. No consistent patterns were found between magnetic characteristics and elemental and iron oxide concentrations as a function of variations in near-surface wind velocities. In potential dust source areas under near-surface wind velocities, there are variations in the relationships between magnetic and geochemical characteristics in the fine fractions of transported materials with different particle sizes. Given the wide variation in magnetic and geochemical characteristics of aeolian-transported materials under different near-surface winds, their use as proxies for past climate reconstruction must be carefully appraised.

  20. Contemporary proglacial aeolian sediment transport in West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bullard, J. E.; Austin, M. J.

    2007-12-01

    Glacial erosion processes produce significance quantities of fine sediments that are washed out from beneath glaciers by meltwater. When deposited on the glacier floodplain they dessicate and strong ice-driven winds can entrain and transport them across the landscape resulting in the formation of sand dunes and loess, and adding very fine particles (dust) to the atmosphere. Recent studies suggest that locally-generated dust can play an important role in regulating albedo and the melting rate of glaciers. Very few field process studies have examined the relationship between sediment-delivery to the proglacial floodplain by meltwater and the subsequent aeolian erosion and deposition of these fine sediments. This research reports the use of semi-isokinetic directional sediment samplers to make an initial assessment of the rates of transport of dust and sand in Sandflugtdalen, a valley adjacent to the West Greenland ice sheet. Vertical arrays (z(m) = 0.18, 0.43, 0.85, 1.4) of samplers were deployed in a down valley transect over a distance of 4 km. Trapped sediments were retrieved after intervals of 1 week and 9 weeks. The mass of sediment collected in the traps varied from 0.002-3.62 g cm2 wk-1. As expected, near surface traps collected more, and coarser, sediment than those deployed at 1.4 m height but the decrease in mass of sediment with height was highly variable. The array closest to the glacier trapped the greatest quantity of suspended sediment and the density of suspended sediment decreased with distance down valley. The flux of aeolian sediment comprises clays, silts and sand-sized particles. Areas of aeolian entrainment, transport and deposition are closely linked to the development and distribution of sediments on the proglacial floodplain which varies considerably in terms of surface roughness. At the east end of the valley, close to the ice sheet, aeolian sediment flux is controlled by sediment supply and topography rather than wind speed. Further down

  1. Field-based aeolian sediment transport threshold measurement: Sensors, calculation methods, and standards as a strategy for improving inter-study comparison

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barchyn, Thomas Edward

    Aeolian sediment transport threshold is commonly defined as the minimum wind speed (or shear stress) necessary for wind-driven sediment transport. Threshold is a core parameter in most models of aeolian transport. Recent advances in methodology for field-based measurement of threshold show promise for improving parameterizations; however, investigators have varied in choice of method and sensor. The impacts of modifying measurement system configuration are unknown. To address this, two field tests were performed: (i) comparison of four piezoelectric sediment transport sensors, and (ii) comparison of four calculation methods. Data from both comparisons suggest that threshold measurements are non-negligibly modified by measurement system configuration and are incomparable. A poor understanding of natural sediment transport dynamics suggests that development of calibration methods could be difficult. Development of technical standards was explored to improve commensurability of measurements. Standards could assist future researchers with data syntheses and integration.

  2. Pervasive aeolian activity along Curiosity's traverse in Gale Crater on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silvestro, S.; Vaz, D.; Ewing, R. C.; Rossi, A.; Flahaut, J.; Fenton, L. K.; Geissler, P. E.; Michaels, T. I.

    2012-12-01

    The NASA Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) has safely landed in Gale Crater (Mars). This crater has been severely modified by the action of the wind which has led to the development of several dark dune fields. One of these fields crosses the landing ellipse from the NE to the SW, and despite its fresh appearance, no evidence of sand movement has been detected until recently. Here we present evidence of current aeolian activity in the form of ripple and dune migration close to the expected traverse of the MSL rover, Curiosity. We calculate a minimum ripple displacement of 1.16 m and a dune migration rate of 0.4 meters/Earth year. Both ripples and dunes migrated toward the SW, suggesting winds above the saltation threshold from the NE. Such winds are predicted by the MRAMS atmospheric model (Fig. 1). The dunes are undergoing changes on a timescale of weeks to a few years that should be detectable by rover instruments. Using theoretical and experimental considerations, we calculate a wind gust velocity of 35 m/s at 1.5 m of height. In addition, we estimate that saltating grains would reach a distance of ~27 m and extend a maximum height of 2 m above the surface. Our constraints on the wind regime provide a unique opportunity to use ground measurements from MSL to test the accuracy of winds predicted from orbital data.RAMS modeled winds in the MSL landing site

  3. Summary of the Second International Planetary Dunes Workshop: Planetary Analogs - Integrating Models, Remote Sensing, and Field Data, Alamosa, Colorado, USA, May 18-21, 2010

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fenton, L.K.; Bishop, M.A.; Bourke, M.C.; Bristow, C.S.; Hayward, R.K.; Horgan, B.H.; Lancaster, N.; Michaels, T.I.; Tirsch, D.; Titus, T.N.; Valdez, A.

    2010-01-01

    The Second International Planetary Dunes Workshop took place in Alamosa, Colorado, USA from May 18-21, 2010. The workshop brought together researchers from diverse backgrounds to foster discussion and collaboration regarding terrestrial and extra-terrestrial dunes and dune systems. Two and a half days were spent on five oral sessions and one poster session, a full-day field trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park, with a great deal of time purposefully left open for discussion. On the last day of the workshop, participants assembled a list of thirteen priorities for future research on planetary dune systems. ?? 2010.

  4. Evidence of active dune sand on the Great Plains in the 19th century from accounts of early explorers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muhs, D.R.; Holliday, V.T.

    1995-01-01

    Dune fields are found in several areas of the Great Plains, and though mostly stabilised today, the accounts of early explorers show that they were more mobile in the last century. Using an index of dune mobility and tree ring data, it is found that these periods of mobility were related to temperature-induced drought, the high temperatures increasing evapotranspiration. Explorers also record that rivers upwind of these dune fields had shallow braided channels in the 19th century, and these would have supplied further aeolian sand. It is concluded that these dunes are extremely susceptible to climate change and that it may not need global warming to increase their mobility again. -K.Clayton

  5. Monte Carlo path sampling approach to modeling aeolian sediment transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardin, E. J.; Mitasova, H.; Mitas, L.

    2011-12-01

    Coastal communities and vital infrastructure are subject to coastal hazards including storm surge and hurricanes. Coastal dunes offer protection by acting as natural barriers from waves and storm surge. During storms, these landforms and their protective function can erode; however, they can also erode even in the absence of storms due to daily wind and waves. Costly and often controversial beach nourishment and coastal construction projects are common erosion mitigation practices. With a more complete understanding of coastal morphology, the efficacy and consequences of anthropogenic activities could be better predicted. Currently, the research on coastal landscape evolution is focused on waves and storm surge, while only limited effort is devoted to understanding aeolian forces. Aeolian transport occurs when the wind supplies a shear stress that exceeds a critical value, consequently ejecting sand grains into the air. If the grains are too heavy to be suspended, they fall back to the grain bed where the collision ejects more grains. This is called saltation and is the salient process by which sand mass is transported. The shear stress required to dislodge grains is related to turbulent air speed. Subsequently, as sand mass is injected into the air, the wind loses speed along with its ability to eject more grains. In this way, the flux of saltating grains is itself influenced by the flux of saltating grains and aeolian transport becomes nonlinear. Aeolian sediment transport is difficult to study experimentally for reasons arising from the orders of magnitude difference between grain size and dune size. It is difficult to study theoretically because aeolian transport is highly nonlinear especially over complex landscapes. Current computational approaches have limitations as well; single grain models are mathematically simple but are computationally intractable even with modern computing power whereas cellular automota-based approaches are computationally efficient

  6. Biodiversity impact of the aeolian periglacial geomorphologic evolution of the Fontainebleau Massif (France)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiry, M.; Liron, M. N.

    2009-04-01

    Landscape features The geomorphology of the Fontainebleau Massif is noteworthy for its spectacular narrow ridges, up to 10 km long and 0.5 km wide, armored by tightly cemented sandstone lenses and which overhang sandy depressions of about 50m. Denudation of the sandstone pans lead to a highly contrasted landscape, with sandstone ridges ("platières") towering sandy depressions ("vallées") and limestone plateaus ("monts"). This forms the geological frame of the spectacular sceneries of the Fontainebleau Massif (Thiry & Liron, 2007). Nevertheless, there is little know about the erosive processes that have built-up these landscapes. Periglacial processes, and among them aeolian ones, appear significant in the development of the Fontainebleau Massif physiography. The periglacial aeolian geomorphology Dunes and dune fields are known since long and cover about 15% to 25% of the Fontainebleau Massif. The aeolian dunes developed as well on the higher parts of the landscape, as well as in the lower parts of the landscape. The dunes are especially well developed in the whole eastern part of the massif, whereas the western part of the massif is almost devoid of dunes. Nevertheless, detailed mapping shows that dunes can locally be found in the western district, they are of limited extension, restricted to the east facing backslope of outliers. Loamy-sand covers the limestone plateaus of the "monts". The loam cover is of variable thickness: schematically thicker in the central part of the plateaus, where it my reach 3 m; elsewhere it may thin down to 0,20-0,30 m, especially at the plateau edges. Blowout hollows are "negative" morphologies from where the sand has been withdrawed. Often these blowouts are decametric sized and well-delimited structures. Others, more complex structures, are made up of several elongated hectometric hollows relaying each other from and which outline deflation corridor more than 1 km long. A characteristic feature of these blowout hollows is the

  7. A 45-year time series of Saharan dune mobility from remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vermeesch, P.

    2012-04-01

    Decadal trends in the aeolian dust record of the Sahara affect the global climate system and the nutrient budget of the Atlantic Ocean. One proposed cause of these trends are changes in the frequency and intensity of dust storms, which have hitherto been hard to quantify. Because sand flux scales with the cube of wind speed, dune migration rates can be used as a proxy for storminess. Relative changes in the storminess of the Sahara can thus be monitored by tracking the migration rates of individual sand dunes over time. The Bodélé Depression of northern Chad was selected as a target area for this method, because it is the most important point-source of aeolian dust on the planet and features the largest and fastest dunes on Earth. A collection of co-registered Landsat, SPOT, and ASTER scenes, combined with declassified American spy satellite images was used to construct a 45 year record of dune migration in the Bodélé Depression. One unexpected outcome of the study was the observation of binary dune interactions in the imagery sequence, which reveals that when two barchan dunes collide, a transfer of mass occurs so that one dune appears to travel through the other unscathed, like a solitary wave. This confirms a controversial numerical model prediction and settles a decade-old debate in aeolian geomorphology. The COSI-Corr change detection method was used to measure the dune migration rates from 1984 until 1987, 1990, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. An algorithm was developed to automatically warp the resulting displacement fields back to a common point in time. Thus, individual image pixels of a dune field were tracked over time, allowing the extraction of a time series from the co-registered satellite images without further human intervention. The automated analysis was extended further back into the past by comparison of the 1984 image with declassified American spy satellite (Corona) images from 1965 and 1970. Due to the presence of

  8. Constraints on aeolian sediment transport to foredunes within an undeveloped backshore enclave on a developed coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaplan, Kayla L.; Nordstrom, Karl F.; Jackson, Nancy L.

    2016-10-01

    Landforms present in undeveloped beach enclaves located between properties developed with houses and infrastructure are often left to evolve naturally but are influenced by the human structures near them. This field study evaluates how buildings and sand-trapping fences change the direction of wind approach, reduce wind speed, and restrict fetch distances for sediment entrainment, thereby reducing the potential for aeolian transport and development of dunes in enclaves. Field data were gathered in an 80 m long, 44 m deep beach enclave on the ocean shoreline of New Jersey, USA. Comparison of wind characteristics in the enclave with a site unaffected by buildings revealed that offshore winds in the enclave are reduced in strength and altered in direction by landward houses, increasing the relative importance of longshore winds. Vertical arrays of anemometers on the foredune crest, foredune toe and berm crest in the enclave revealed increasing wind speed with distance offshore, with strongest winds on the berm crest. Vertical cylindrical traps on the foredune crest, foredune toe, mid-backshore, berm crest and upper foreshore revealed the greatest rate of sediment transport on the berm crest. Sediment samples from the beach and from traps revealed limited potential for aeolian transport because of coarse grain sizes. Strong oblique onshore winds are common in this region and are normally important for transporting sand to dunes. The length of an enclave and the setback distance on its landward side determine the degree to which sediment delivered by oblique winds contributes to dune growth. The landward edge of the enclave (defined by a sand fence near the dune toe) is sheltered along its entire length from winds blowing at an angle to the shoreline of 25° or less. A foredune set back this distance in an enclave the length of an individual lot (about 20 m) would be sheltered at an angle of 57° or less, reducing the opportunity for dune building by onshore winds

  9. Modelling and Investigating Dune Transformations Driven by Vegetation and Environmental Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Na; Baas, Andreas

    2013-04-01

    Despite growing perception of the significant role of vegetation in shaping distinct landscapes in aeolian systems, the complex eco-geomorphic interrelationships between vegetation and dune landforms are not well understood. Projections of future climatic change, meanwhile, in particular increased temperature and drought severity, raise concerns that widespread aeolian activity may intensify as a result of semi-stabilised dunes transforming to highly mobile forms. Computer modelling of aeolian landscapes and sand transport processes has been in wide use in the past decade, due to its capability of bridging the gap between different temporal and spatial scales. Numerical simulations serve as an important tool to investigate and explore theoretical foundations underlying distinctive landscape patterns and their response to perturbations arising from both natural and anthropogenic impacts. This research focuses on modelling and understanding the transformation of a semi-fixed parabolic dunefield with shrubs and nebkhas into a highly mobile barchanoid dunefield, and tries to clarify the fundamental mechanisms underlying dunefield reactivation and transformation driven by vegetation and environmental change in Inner Mongolia, China. Vegetation distribution and topography maps of a number of parabolic dunes on the Ordos Plateau were acquired using quadrat surveys and d-GPS. Sampling transects were established along longitudinal sections, cross sections and lee slopes. Historical trajectories of vegetation and morphologic change of two active parabolic dunes were determined by analysing three satellite RS images in 2005, 2007 and 2010. Vegetation density maps and potential sand transport rates were estimated by combining the DEM acquired from the field and the migration rate determined from the remote sensing image interpretation. Based on this fieldwork investigation, remote sensing image interpretation, and local climatic context analysis, the DECAL (Discrete Eco

  10. Aeolian Sand Transport with Collisional Suspension

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jenkins, James T.; Pasini, Jose Miguel; Valance, Alexandre

    2004-01-01

    Aeolian transport is an important mechanism for the transport of sand on Earth and on Mars. Dust and sand storms are common occurrences on Mars and windblown sand is responsible for many of the observed surface features, such as dune fields. A better understanding of Aeolian transport could also lead to improvements in pneumatic conveying of materials to be mined for life support on the surface of the Moon and Mars. The usual view of aeolian sand transport is that for mild winds, saltation is the dominant mechanism, with particles in the bed being dislodged by the impact of other saltating particles, but without in-flight collisions. As the wind becomes stronger, turbulent suspension keeps the particles in the air, allowing much longer trajectories, with the corresponding increase in transport rate. We show here that an important regime exists between these two extremes: for strong winds, but before turbulent suspension becomes dominant, there is a regime in which in-flight collisions dominate over turbulence as a suspension mechanism, yielding transport rates much higher than those for saltation. The theory presented is based on granular kinetic theory, and includes both turbulent suspension and particle-particle collisions. The wind strengths for which the calculated transport rates are relevant are beyond the published strengths of current wind tunnel experiments, so these theoretical results are an invitation to do experiments in the strong-wind regime. In order to make a connection between the regime of saltation and the regime of collisional suspension, it is necessary to better understand the interaction between the bed and the particles that collide with it. This interaction depends on the agitation of the particles of the bed. In mild winds, collisions with the bed are relatively infrequent and the local disturbance associated with a collision can relax before the next nearby collision. However, as the wind speed increases, collision become more frequent

  11. Morphology and flow fields of three-dimensional dunes, Rio Paraná, Argentina: Results from simultaneous multibeam echo sounding and acoustic Doppler current profiling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parsons, D. R.; Best, J. L.; Orfeo, O.; Hardy, R. J.; Kostaschuk, R.; Lane, S. N.

    2005-12-01

    Most past studies of river dune dynamics have concentrated on two-dimensional (2-D) bed forms, with constant heights and straight crest lines transverse to the flow, and their associated turbulent flow structure. This morphological simplification imposes inherent limitations on the interpretation and understanding of dune form and flow dynamics in natural channels, where dune form is predominantly three-dimensional. For example, studies over 2-D forms neglect the significant influence that lateral flows and secondary circulation may have on the flow structure and thus dune morphology. This paper details a field study of a swath of 3-D dunes in the Rio Paraná, Argentina. A large (0.35 km wide, 1.2 km long) area of dunes was surveyed using a multibeam echo sounder (MBES) that provided high-resolution 3-D detail of the river bed. Simultaneous with the MBES survey, 3-D flow information was obtained with an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP), revealing a complicated pattern of dune morphology and associated flow structure within the swath. Dune three-dimensionality appears intimately connected to the morphology of the upstream dune, with changes in crest line curvature and crest line bifurcations/junctions significantly influencing the downstream dune form. Dunes with lobe or saddle-shaped crest lines were found to have larger, more structured regions of vertical velocity with smaller separation zones than more 2-D straight-crested dunes. These results represent the first integrated study of 3-D dune form and mean flow structure from the field and show several similarities to recent laboratory models of flow over 3-D dunes.

  12. Dune Variety

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Context image for PIA02173 Dune Variety

    This image of the east end of Coprates Chasma contains several dune fields. The dunes in the center of the image are larger and darker than the dunes at the bottom.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -14.8N, Longitude 304.3E. 17 meter/pixel resolution.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

  13. Reorientation Timescales and Pattern Dynamics for Titan's Dunes: Does the Tail Wag the Dog or the Dragon?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes, A. G.; Ewing, R. C.; Cassini Radar Science Team, T.

    2011-12-01

    Fields of bedform patterns persist across many orders of magnitude, from cm-scale sub-aqueous current ripples to km-scale aeolian dunes, and form with surprisingly little difference in expression despite a range of formative environments. Because of the remarkable similarity between and among patterns, extracting information about climate and environment from these patterns is a challenge. For example, crest orientation is not diagnostic of a particular flow regime; similar patterns form under many different flow configurations. On Titan, these challenges have played out with many attempts to reconcile dune-field patterns with modeled and expected wind regimes. We propose that thinking about the change in dune orientation, rather than the orientation itself, can provide new insights on the long-term stability of the dune-field patterns and the formative wind regime. In this work, we apply the re-orientation model presented by Werner and Kocurek [Geology, 1997] to the equatorial dune fields of Titan. We measure variations in pattern parameters (crest spacing, crest length and defect density, which is the number of defect pairs per total crest length) both within and between Titan's dune fields to describe pattern maturity and identify areas where changes in dune orientation are likely to occur (or may already be occurring). Measured defect densities are similar to Earth's largest linear dune fields, such as the Namib Sand Sea and the Simpson Desert. We use measured defect densities in the Werner and Kocurek model to estimate crestline reorientation rates. We find reorientation timescales varying from ten to a hundred thousand times the average migration timescale (time to migrate a bedform one meter, ~1 Titan year according to Tokano (Aeolian Research, 2010)). Well organized patterns have the longest reorientation time scales (~10^5 migration timescales), while the topographically or spatially isolated patches of dunes show the shortest reorientation times (~10

  14. Laboratory Analyses Of Basaltic Dunes In The Ka'u Desert Of Hawaii And Implications For Understanding Dark Dunes On Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tirsch, D.; Craddock, R. A.; Nanson, G.; Tooth, S.; Langhans, M.

    2010-12-01

    Dark dunes are the dominant aeolian bedforms on Mars and consist of ancient volcanic ashes and reworked basaltic lavas. Basaltic dunes are rare on Earth and only occur in limited areas, such Hawaii. Because the Hawaiian dunes are composed of reworked basaltic sediments transported by eolian processes, they are a promising subject matter of analogy studies. Samples of dark dune sands, ash, and tephra collected in Hawaii's Ka'u Desert were collected during field trips in summer 2009 and 2010. They were analyzed by a variety of laboratory methods, including spectral, microscope, and microprobe investigations, in order examine their detailed mineralogical composition and constitution. We then compared the results to the eolian dunes on Mars. Sand samples were collected from three different dark dunes in Ka'u Desert: a large, vegetated, parabolic dune, a falling dune, and a large climbing dune. Tephra from the phreatic eruption that began in March 2008 was collected over a two year period using sample collectors placed at different locations downwind of Kilauea caldera. Analyses of these samples allow us to determining the initial composition, grain shape, and grain size of probable source materials. The visible and near-infrared reflectance spectra of the samples were acquired for the 0.5 to 2.5µm range. The overall spectral shape of the dune sand samples indicates a mineralogical correlation between Martian and terrestrial dune sands indicating a similar volcanic origin of the sediments. The spectra of the Hawaiian samples reveal some aqueous alteration, which is probably related to hydrated amorphous silica. Initial microscope and microprobe analyses reveal a high amount of volcanic glass and rock fragments in the samples, followed by olivine, feldspars, and pyroxene. Vitric particles that dominate the majority of the dune samples indicate in situ material accumulation following larger phreatic eruptions. The top coarse-grained layer of the climbing dune comprises a

  15. Aerolian erosion, transport, and deposition of volcaniclastic sands among the shifting sand dunes, Christmas Lake Valley, Oregon: TIMS image analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edgett, Kenneth S.; Ramsey, Michael S.; Christensen, Philip R.

    1995-01-01

    Remote sensing is a tool that, in the context of aeolian studies, offers a synoptic view of a dune field, sand sea, or entire desert region. Blount et al. (1990) presented one of the first studies demonstrating the power of multispectral images for interpreting the dynamic history of an aeolian sand sea. Blount's work on the Gran Desierto of Mexico used a Landsat TM scene and a linear spectral mixing model to show where different sand populations occur and along what paths these sands may have traveled before becoming incorporated into dunes. Interpretation of sand transport paths and sources in the Gran Desierto led to an improved understanding of the origin and Holocene history of the dunes. With the anticipated advent of the EOS-A platform and ASTER thermal infrared capability in 1998, it will become possible to look at continental sand seas and map sand transport paths using 8-12 mu m bands that are well-suited to tracking silicate sediments. A logical extension of Blount's work is to attempt a similar study using thermal infrared images. One such study has already begun by looking at feldspar, quartz, magnetite, and clay distributions in the Kelso Dunes of southern California. This paper describes the geology and application of TIMS image analysis of a less-well known Holocene dune field in south central Oregon using TIMS data obtained in 1991.

  16. Semiarid landscapes response to Aeolian processes during Holocene in Baikal Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dan'ko, Lidia; Opekunova, Marina

    2010-05-01

    Arid and semiarid landscapes play a significant role in global climate, biogeochemical, and hydrological processes. Regional analysis of the past aeolian processes is essential for improve our understanding of how various landscape and ecosystems responded to climate change in the past. Our investigation presents details on sand dunes and on loess-like sediments. The study areas are situated in the northern part of Baikal Region (Eastern Siberia). In its depressions, the so-called Barguzinskaya and Tunkinskaya Valley surrounded mountain ranges local dunefieds and loess-like sediments have developed. Present climate in the study areas is continental, characterized by low precipitation(mean annual 250-450 mm) and wide annual range of temperature. Field investigations indicate that the Holocene deposits of the Barguzinskaya and Tunkinskaya Valley are sealed the pedo-sedimentary interface. The analytical results suggest that one's represents a changeover from intensified soil formation to accelerated aeolian dust accumulation. The original content of calcium carbonate and gypsum at the base of some sections of loess-like sediments indicates the aeolian origin of these sediments. In whole, the soil horizons are a proof for humid phases. The change was forced by climatic aridity. Absolute dating of the organogenic components of soils (14C) indicate the age positions of the arid and humid climate phases. Our results indicate not only 1-4 long-time episodes of aeolian dust accumulation during the Holocene, but shot-time aeolian accumulation episodes, that were specific for Late Holocene. For example, in the Tunkinskaya Valley the Late Holocene soil formation replaced by aeolian deposit at 1700 - 1900, 800 and 200-250 years ago, in the Barguzinskaya Valley - about 3100 - 2900, 2300 and 600 years ago. It can be concluded that a periodical formation of the aeolian deposits in the semiarid landscapes during Holocene can be postulated. Aeolian and loess-like sediments of the

  17. Mega-ripples in Iran: A new analog for transverse aeolian ridges on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foroutan, M.; Zimbelman, J. R.

    2016-08-01

    A new terrestrial analog site for transverse aeolian ridges (TARs) is described in this study. The Lut desert of Iran hosts large ripple-like aeolian bedforms, with the same horizontal length scales and patterns of TARs on Mars. Different classes of TARs and different types of other aeolian features such as sand dunes, zibars, dust devil tracks and yardangs can be found in this area, which signify an active aeolian region. This area represents a unique site to study the formation and evolution of these enigmatic features, with potential relevance toward a better understanding of TARs on Mars.

  18. North Polar Sand Dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-417, 10 July 2003

    The martian north polar ice cap is surrounded by fields of dark, windblown sand dunes. This March 2003 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows dunes near 76.5oN, 264.7oW. The steep dune slip faces indicate wind transport of sand from the lower left toward the upper right. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

  19. Normal incidence measurement in a subaqueous sand dune field in the South China Sea.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Linus Y S; Chang, Andrea Y Y

    2014-11-01

    Regions with subaqueous sand dunes have been discovered on the upper continental slope of the northern South China Sea. These large subaqueous sand dunes are expected to cause errors in the measurement of normal incidence reflection. This letter presents experiment results of two normal incidence survey tracks conducted in 2013, and the errors in reflection coefficient estimation and the resulting sediment properties induced by sand dune bedforms. The results demonstrate that the reflected energy is focused and scattered by different parts of sand dune bedforms and that they produce significant variation in the estimated reflection coefficients and the inverted geoacoustic properties.

  20. A bibliography of dunes: Earth, Mars, and Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lancaster, N.

    1988-01-01

    Dunes are important depositional landforms and sedimentary environments on Earth and Mars, and may be important on Venus. The similarity of dune forms on Earth and Mars, together with the dynamic similarity of aeolian processes on the terrestrial planets indicates that it is appropriate to interpret dune forms and processes on Mars and Venus by using analog studies. However, the literature on dune studies is large and scattered. The aim of this bibliography is to assist investigators by providing a literature resource on techniques which have proved successful in elucidating dune characteristics and processes on Earth, Mars, and Venus. This bibliography documents the many investigations of dunes undertaken in the last century. It concentrates on studies of inland dunes in both hot and cold desert regions on Earth and includes investigations of coastal dunes only if they discuss matters of general significance for dune sediments, processes, or morphology.

  1. Late Pleistocene and Holocene aeolian sedimentation in Gonghe Basin, northeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau: Variability, processes, and climatic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiang, Mingrui; Jin, Yanxiang; Liu, Xingxing; Song, Lei; Li, Hao; Li, Fengshan; Chen, Fahu

    2016-01-01

    Although stratigraphic sequences of aeolian deposits in dryland areas have long been recognized as providing information about past environments, the exact nature of the environmental processes they reflect remains unclear. Here, we report the results of a detailed investigation of eight outcrop sections in the Gonghe Basin, northeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Measurements of sediment grain-size and chemical composition indicate that the deposits are primarily of aeolian origin, consisting of interbedded, well-sorted sand, silty sand, loess and/or palaeosol; however, their occurrence varies from site to site. Fossil dune sands mainly occur in or close to the currently stabilized or semi-stabilized dune fields, whereas loess is distributed along the downwind marginal areas. This pattern of basin-scale differentiation was controlled mainly by spatial variability of sediment supply due to the antecedent sedimentary patterns within the basin. Together with previously-published optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages, 24 new OSL dates are used to elucidate the history of aeolian activity and its relationship to climatic changes. There is no apparent relationship between past dune activity and downwind loess deposits. Deposition of silty sand probably occurred during past phases of windy, dry and cold climate in the Late Pleistocene. However, climatic factors alone cannot explain the occurrence of silty sand deposition. This is because the deposition of silty sand was always preceded by episodes of fluvial deposition prior to river incision, thereby indicating the importance of an 'activated' sediment supply associated with fluvial processes. Deposition of well-sorted sand occurred episodically, not only during the Late Pleistocene, but also during the early- to mid-Holocene. Vegetation conditions, controlled either by the occurrence of intervals of moisture deficit during the Late Pleistocene or by changes in the balance between precipitation and

  2. Vegetation of semi-stable rangeland dunes of the Navajo Nation, Southwestern USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thomas, Kathryn A.; Redsteer, Margaret H.

    2016-01-01

    Dune destabilization and increased mobility is a worldwide issue causing ecological, economic, and health problems for the inhabitants of areas with extensive dune fields. Dunes cover nearly a third of the Navajo Nation within the Colorado Plateau of southwestern USA. There, higher temperatures and prolonged drought beginning in 1996 have produced significant increases in dune mobility. Vegetation plays an important role in dune stabilization, but there are few studies of the plants of the aeolian surfaces of this region. We examined plant species and their attributes within a moderately vegetated dune field of the Navajo Nation to understand the types and characteristics of plants that stabilize rangeland dunes. These dunes supported a low cover of mixed grass-scrubland with fifty-two perennial and annual species including extensive occurrence of non-native annual Salsola spp. Perennial grass richness and shrub cover were positively associated with increased soil sand composition. Taprooted shrubs were more common on sandier substrates. Most dominant grasses had C4 photosynthesis, suggestive of higher water-use efficiencies and growth advantage in warm arid environments. Plant cover was commonly below the threshold of dune stabilization. Increasing sand movement with continued aridity will select for plants adapted to burial, deflation, and abrasion. The study indicates plants tolerant of increased sand mobility and burial but more investigation is needed to identify the plants adapted to establish and regenerate under these conditions. In addition, the role of Salsola spp. in promoting decline of perennial grasses and shrubs needs clarification.

  3. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Martian Aeolian and Mass Wasting Processes: Blowing and Flowing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The session Martian Aeolian and Mass Wasting Processes: BLowing and Flowing included the following topics: 1) Three Decades of Martian Surface Changes; 2) Thermophysical Properties of Isidis Basin, Mars; 3) Intracrater Material in Eastern Arabia Terra: THEMIS, MOC, and MOLA Analysis of Wind-blown Deposits and Possible High-Inertia Source Material; 4) Thermal Properties of Sand from TES and THEMIS: Do Martian Dunes Make a Good Control for Thermal Inertia Calculations? 5) A Comparative Analysis of Barchan Dunes in the Intra-Crater Dune Fields and the North Polar Sand Sea; 6) Diluvial Dunes in Athabasca Valles, Mars: Morphology, Modeling and Implications; 7) Surface Profiling of Natural Dust Devils; 8) Martian Dust Devil Tracks: Inferred Directions of Movement; 9) Numerical Simulations of Anastomosing Slope Streaks on Mars; 10) Young Fans in an Equatorial Crater in Xanthe Terra, Mars; 11) Large Well-exposed Alluvual Fans in Deep Late-Noachian Craters; 12) New Evidence for the Formation of Large Landslides on Mars; and 13) What Can We Learn from the Ages of Valles Marineris Landslides on Martian Impact History?

  4. Late Quaternary aeolian sand deposition sustained by fluvial reworking and sediment supply in the Hexi Corridor - An example from northern Chinese drylands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nottebaum, Veit; Lehmkuhl, Frank; Stauch, Georg; Lu, Huayu; Yi, Shuangwen

    2015-12-01

    Aeolian deposits are frequently used for palaeoenvironmental change studies. Their formation depends on an array of requirements: the supply of material suitable for aeolian transport and favorable conditions of sediment availability and wind strength. In order to infer palaeoenvironmental information from aeolian sand deposits these factors need to be carefully evaluated. We present a study from northern Chinese Hexi Corridor, based on 11 optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dated sediment sections. These represent interchanging aeolian and alluvial deposits under gravel surfaces and aeolian sand in dune fields interrupted by interdunal flood deposits. Investigations in two subareas reveal contrasting geomorphologic and sedimentary histories: (1) sediment deposition during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition (~ 12 ka) followed by deflation during the Holocene and (2) frequent sediment recycling revealed by a wide spectrum of ages throughout the Holocene. The late glacial sediment pulse recorded in the western Hexi Corridor is attributed to high sediment supply, generated by efficient (peri-)glacial sediment production during glacial times in the adjacent Qilian Shan (< 5700 m asl) and a moisture increase inducing the reworking of those (glacio-)fluvial deposits during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. The absence of a powerful reworking agent preserved these late glacial deposits in the western Hexi Corridor in contrast to moister eastern parts where Holocene sediment reworking prevailed. Geomorphological and hydrological preconditions of the subareas are discussed and reveal the controlling influence of fluvial processes on sand supply for the aeolian system. While a perennial drainage is missing in the drier western part, the Hei River drainage is fed by higher monsoonal precipitation in the central Hexi Corridor. It maintains a sediment recycling system and has ensured a sufficient sediment supply throughout the Holocene. The study promotes closer

  5. Modeling grain size variations of aeolian gypsum deposits at White Sands, New Mexico, using AVIRIS imagery

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ghrefat, H.A.; Goodell, P.C.; Hubbard, B.E.; Langford, R.P.; Aldouri, R.E.

    2007-01-01

    Visible and Near-Infrared (VNIR) through Short Wavelength Infrared (SWIR) (0.4-2.5????m) AVIRIS data, along with laboratory spectral measurements and analyses of field samples, were used to characterize grain size variations in aeolian gypsum deposits across barchan-transverse, parabolic, and barchan dunes at White Sands, New Mexico, USA. All field samples contained a mineralogy of ?????100% gypsum. In order to document grain size variations at White Sands, surficial gypsum samples were collected along three Transects parallel to the prevailing downwind direction. Grain size analyses were carried out on the samples by sieving them into seven size fractions ranging from 45 to 621????m, which were subjected to spectral measurements. Absorption band depths of the size fractions were determined after applying an automated continuum-removal procedure to each spectrum. Then, the relationship between absorption band depth and gypsum size fraction was established using a linear regression. Three software processing steps were carried out to measure the grain size variations of gypsum in the Dune Area using AVIRIS data. AVIRIS mapping results, field work and laboratory analysis all show that the interdune areas have lower absorption band depth values and consist of finer grained gypsum deposits. In contrast, the dune crest areas have higher absorption band depth values and consist of coarser grained gypsum deposits. Based on laboratory estimates, a representative barchan-transverse dune (Transect 1) has a mean grain size of 1.16 ??{symbol} (449????m). The error bar results show that the error ranges from - 50 to + 50????m. Mean grain size for a representative parabolic dune (Transect 2) is 1.51 ??{symbol} (352????m), and 1.52 ??{symbol} (347????m) for a representative barchan dune (Transect 3). T-test results confirm that there are differences in the grain size distributions between barchan and parabolic dunes and between interdune and dune crest areas. The t-test results

  6. Advanced InSAR imaging for dune mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Havivi, Shiran; August, Yitzhak; Blumberg, Dan G.; Rotman, Stanley R.

    2015-04-01

    Aeolian morphologies are formed in the presence of sufficient wind energy and available particles. These processes occur naturally or are further enhanced or reduced by human intervention. The dimensions of change are dependent primarily on the wind energy and surface properties. Since the 1970's, remote sensing imagery both optical and radar, are used for documentation and interpretation of the geomorphologic changes of sand dunes. Remote sensing studies of Aeolian morphologies is mostly useful to document major changes, yet, subtle changes, occurring in a period of days or months in scales of centimeters, are very difficult to detect in imagery. Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) is an imaging technique for measuring Earth's surface topography and deformation. InSAR images are produced by measuring the radar phase difference between two separated antennas that view the same surface area. Classical InSAR is based on high coherence between two images or more. The output (interferogram) can show subtle changes with an accuracy of several millimeters to centimeters. Very little work has been done on measuring or identifying the changes in dunes using InSAR. The reason is that dunes tend to be less coherent than firm, stable, surfaces. This research aims to demonstrate how interferometric decorrelation, or, coherence change detection, can be used for identifying dune instability. We hypothesize and demonstrate that the loss of radar coherence over time on dunes can be used as an indication of the dune's instability. When SAR images are acquired at sufficiently close intervals one can measure the time it takes to lose coherence and associate this time with geomorphic stability. To achieve our goals, the Nitzanim coastal dunes along the Mediterranean, 40 km south of Tel-Aviv, Israel, were chosen as a case study. The dunes in this area are of varying levels of stability and vegetation cover and have been monitored meteorologically, geomorphologically and

  7. The investigation of moving dunes over Mars using very high resolution topography and sub pixel co-registration method.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, J.; Baik, H.; Seol, H.

    2015-12-01

    Although the origins and processes of Martian aeolian features, especially dunes, have not been fully identified yet, it has been better understood by the orbital observation method which has led to the identification of Martian dune migration such as a case in Nili Patera (Bridges, 2012), and the numerical model employing advanced computational fluid dynamics. Specifically, the recent introduction of very high-resolution image products, such as 25 cm-resolution HiRISE imagery and its precise photogrammetric processor, allows us to trace the estimated, although tiny, dune migration over the Martian surface. In this study, we attempted to improve the accuracy of active dune migration measurements by 1) the introduction of very high resolution ortho images and stereo analysis based on the hierarchical geodetic control (Kim and Muller, 2009) for better initial point settings; and 2) the improved sub-pixel co-registration algorithms using optical flow with a refinement stage based on a least squares correlation conducted on a pyramidal processor. Consequently, this scheme not only measured Martian dune migration more precisely, but it also achieved the extension of 3D observations combining stereo analysis and photoclinometry. The established algorithms have been tested using the HiRISE time series images over several dune fields, such as the Kaiser, Procter, and Rabe craters, which were reported by the Mars Global Digital Dune Database (Hayward et al., 2013). The detected dune migrations were significantly larger than previously reported values. The outcomes in our study will be demonstrated with the quantified values in 2D and volumetric direction. In the future, the method will be further applied to the dune fields in the Mars Global dune database comprehensively and can be compared with the improved General Circulation Model and the numerical simulation.

  8. Luminescence dating of Holocene aeolian sand movement, Thy, Denmark

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, A. S.; Clemmensen, L. B.

    2001-12-01

    We report on the application of optically stimulated luminescence dating to an investigation of the frequency of periods of aeolian sand movement and dune formation. On the coast of Thy, Holocene aeolian sediments, interleaved with peaty palaeosols, form some of the most complete successions known in western Denmark. Samples were taken from a coastal exposure, and an inland archaeological site. Dosimetry was based on laboratory gamma spectrometry, and quartz luminescence measurements used the single-aliquot regenerative-dose protocol, and 470±30 nm stimulation. The sand samples cover an age ranging from about 100 years to 4500 years; the youngest dates give us confidence that the material was well bleached at deposition. Good agreement was obtained with the radiocarbon palaeosol ages. We identify three main periods of aeolian sand movement, starting at about 4200, 2700 and 900 years ago; at least during the latter two periods significant aeolian sand movement occurred. All three phases of aeolian activity were separated by long periods of stability and soil formation. A more recent episode of dune formation, restricted to the coast and beginning less than 200 years ago, may have been triggered by modern coastal erosion.

  9. Water Use for Cultivation Management of Watermelon in Upland Field on Sand Dune

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hashimoto, Iwao; Senge, Masateru; Itou, Kengo; Maruyama, Toshisuke

    Early-maturing cultivation of watermelon in a plastic tunnel was invetigated in upland field on sand dune on the coast of the Japan Sea to find water use to control blowing sand and to transplant seedlings. This region has low precipitation, low humidity, and strong wind in March and April, when sand is readily blown in the field. Water is used to control blowing sand on days with precipitation below 5 mm, minimum humidity below the meteorological average in April, and maximum wind velocity above the meteorological average in April. For the rooting and growth of watermelon seedlings, soil temperature needs to be raised because it is low in April. Ridges are mulched with transparent, porous polyethylene films 10 or more days before transplanting the seedlings and irrigated with sprinklers on fine days for the thermal storage of solar energy. The stored heat steams the mulched ridges to raise soil temperature to 15°C or higher on the day of transplanting the seedlings. The total amount of irrigation water used for watermelon cultivation was 432.7 mm, of which 23.6 mm was for blowing sand control and 26.6 mm was for transplanting the seedlings. The combined amount, 50.2 mm, is 11.6% of the total amount of water used for cultivation management.

  10. Why deposits of longitudinal dunes are rarely recognized in the geologic record

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rubin, David M.; Hunter, Ralph E.

    1985-01-01

    Dunes that are morphologically of linear type, many of which are probably of longitudinal type in a morphodynamic sense, are common in modern deserts, but their deposits are rarely identified in aeolian sandstones. One reason for non-recognition of such dunes is that they can migrate laterally when they are not exactly parallel to the long-term sand-transport direction, thereby depositing cross-strata that have unimodal cross-bed dip directions and consequently resemble deposits of transverse dunes. Dune-parallel components of sand transport can be recognized in ancient aeolian sands by examining compound cross-bedding formed by small dunes that migrated across the lee slopes of large dunes and documenting that the small dunes migrated with a component in a preferred along-crest direction over the large dunes.

  11. Deflated rims along the Xiangshui River on the Xiliaohe Plain, Northeast China: A case of active fluvial-aeolian interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Guang; Zhang, Guifang; You, Li; Wang, Yong; Yang, Lin; Yang, Ji; Zhou, Liang; Yuan, Minghuan; Zou, Xueyong; Cheng, Hong

    2016-03-01

    Riverine source-bordering sand dunes, as a result of active fluvial-aeolian interactions, are a pronounced feature on the semiarid Xiliaohe Plain, Northeast China. By means of satellite imagery analysis, and both field survey and observation, this paper presents a new type of riverine source-bordering sand dunes - deflated rims, on the downwind margins of the Xiangshui River. They largely result from the deflation of escarpments on the downwind side of valley by local prevailing winds of NW direction, not from the reworking of point bars on floodplain by wind. In general, a rim is primarily composed of three distinct zones: 1) the upwind frontal escarpment zone with variable plan-form shape, gradient and relief, which is formed by either active lateral erosion by river or significant erosion by wind and transient slope runoff; 2) the deflation zone with gentle slopes of 8-18° and small-scale aeolian bedforms, i.e. ripples of fine sand, ridges of coarse sand; and 3) the downwind dynamic deposition zone with distinctive bedforms with variable superficial texture and slip faces. The sand mass on rims derives overwhelmingly from underlying loose late Quaternary sediments, is sufficient and sustainable by successive retreats of the escarpment, and is gradually transported downwind by pulse motions of bedforms, coupled with high wind events. Essentially, deflated rims are a starting point and the incipient phase of mature riverine dunefields. The superimposed bedforms on rims are fundamentally governed by windflow dynamics, sand sediments and antecedent bedform, exhibiting in turn the manner and intensity of rim development. Consequently, the upwind river valley and downwind deflated rim can jointly stimulate marked wave-like motion of both windflow and aeolian bedforms at different scales, especially when high wind events occur. This study sheds some light on the understanding of the origin and development of riverine source-bordering dunefields, and offers new

  12. Investigation of Reversing Sand Dunes at the Bruneau Dunes, Idaho, as Analogs for Features on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimbelman, J. R.; Scheidt, S. P.

    2012-12-01

    The Bruneau Dunes in south-central Idaho include several large reversing sand dunes located within a cut-off meander of the Snake River. These dunes include the largest single-structured sand dune present in North America. Wind records from the Remote Automated Weather Station (RAWS) installation at the Mountain Home Air Force Base, which is ~21 km NW of the Bruneau Dunes, have proved to be very helpful in assessing the regional wind patterns at this section of the western Snake River Plains province; a bimodal wind regime is present, with seasonal changes of strong (sand-moving) winds blowing from either the northwest or the southeast. During April of 2011, we obtained ten precision topographic surveys across the southernmost reversing dune using a Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS). The DGPS data document the shape of the dune going from a low, broad sand ridge at the southern distal end of the dune to the symmetrically shaped 112-m-high central portion of the dune, where both flanks of the dune consist of active slopes near the angle of repose. These data will be useful in evaluating the reversing dune hypothesis proposed for enigmatic features on Mars called Transverse Aeolian Ridges (TARs), which could have formed either as large mega-ripples or small sand dunes. The symmetric profiles across TARs with heights greater than 1 m are more consistent with measured profiles of reversing sand dunes than with measured profiles of mega-ripples (whose surfaces are coated by large particles ranging from coarse sand to gravel, moved by saltation-induced creep). Using DGPS to monitor changes in the three-dimensional location of the crests of the reversing dunes at the Bruneau Dunes should provide a means for estimating the likely timescale for changes of TAR crests if the Martian features are indeed formed in the same manner as reversing sand dunes on Earth.

  13. Holocene aeolian development in Central Spain; chronology, regional correlations and causal processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Hidalgo, José F.; Temiño, Javier; Segura, Manuel

    2007-10-01

    Extensive areas in the southern part of the Duero Tertiary Basin (Central Spain) are covered by aeolian sands. Presently, the aeolian system is relict but in its origin and development it can be described as a "wet aeolian system". Climatic and environmental changes during the Holocene are typified by alternating humid and arid periods. These are recorded in the sedimentary record as either organic-rich sandy palaeosols or clean aeolian sand, respectively. Palaeosol dating (12 radiocarbon dated samples) and stratigraphical and sedimentological analysis of several dunefields in quarries and boreholes allow the distinction of four periods of palaeosol development since the Allerød. Aeolian sediments commonly rest on fluvial deposits, which were themselves the major source area for aeolian sands. These fluvial deposits have an age of about 14,000 cal yr BP. The first phase of aeolian activity postdates these fluvial sediments and has an upper age of about 12,000-11,700 cal yr BP, probably corresponding to the last cold oscillation of the Lateglacial (Younger Dryas). The second phase ranges from about 11,500 to 9500 cal yr BP, during which period the majority of dunes in the Tierra de Pinares area formed. This is also a major phase of aeolian activity in other areas of the Iberian Peninsula. A third and probably discontinuous phase of aeolian activity took place between 6800 and about 3000 cal yr BP. The age for this phase is supported by the presence of Visigothic burial sites covered by aeolian sands. The presence of charred material and degraded slipfaces clearly indicate stabilisation by vegetation and the final degradation of the aeolian system at the end of the fourth aeolian phase (990-540 cal yr BP). Minor aeolian activity has also occurred subsequently in this area, since aeolian sand movement was even reported in the 20th century. The aeolian phases can be tentatively correlated with aeolian phases in Europe. Aeolian activity tends to occur regionally during

  14. Geomorphological descriptions of seasonal processes on Mars: Linear Gullies and Recurrent Diffusing Flows on the intra-crater dunes fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasquon, K.; Gargani, J.; Massé, M.

    2015-10-01

    Linear Gullies are seasonal processes located on the intra-crater dunes fields. They are mainly located between 43°40'S and 52°2'S on dunes with a slight slope (˜13°) facing SSW (mainly between 150°N and 260°N). The progression of Linear Gullies happens every years between the end of winter and the beginning of spring (between Ls 167.4° and Ls 216.6°), when the CO finally defrosts on the dunes fields. Each year, a Recurrent Diffusing Flow spreads on Linear Gullies area from the end of winter (Ls 167.4°) to the beginning of autumn (Ls 21.9°), with a maximum activity between Ls 167.4° and Ls 192.3°. This flow takes an active part in the Linear Gullies creation/upkeep and could participate to the pits development. We highlight an albedo decrease of 42% during the pits activity. This important and very transient decreasing could be hardly explained by a dry movement only. We thus suggest that the Recurrent Diffusing Flows could be linked to the presence of a fluid or a liquid spreading in the shallow sub-surface. A link between CO cycle and the Linear Gullies could be consistent with their development timing. Brines participation can't be excluded.

  15. 3D Airflow patterns over coastal foredunes: implications for aeolian sediment transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, Derek W. T.; Cooper, Andrew G.; Baas, Andreas C. W.; Lynch, Kevin; Beyers, Meiring

    2010-05-01

    A fundamental criterion for the development of coastal sand dunes is usually highlighted as a significant onshore wind component of the local wind field. The presence of large sand dune systems on coasts where the predominant wind blows offshore is therefore difficult to explain and usually they are attributed to the past occurrence of onshore winds and, by implication, subsequent changes in climate. Recent studies have shown that offshore winds can be deflected or 'steered' by existing dunes so that their direction changes. This can occur to such an extent that a process known as 'flow reversal' can arise, whereby the initially offshore wind actually flows onshore at the beach. This process is important because it can cause sand to be blown from the beach and into the dunes, causing them to grow. This may be central in explaining the presence of extensive dunes on coasts where the dominant wind is offshore, but is also important in how dunes recover after periods of wave erosion during storms. Offshore winds have traditionally been excluded from sediment budget calculations for coastal dunes, but when they do transport sand onshore, this may have been an important oversight leading to significant underestimates of the volume of sand being transported by wind. This work investigates the controls on the processes and the mechanisms involved in deformation of the flow and resulting sediment transport at coastal foredunes in Northern Ireland. We use a combination of field measurement of wind and sediment transport coupled with state-of-the-art aerodynamic modelling using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and 3-D sonic anemometry. Our working hypothesis is that offshore winds contribute substantially to foredune behaviour on leeside coasts. Preliminary results show strong reverse flow eddies in the seaward side of the foredunes during offshore wind events. These secondary flow reversals have been above velocity threshold and are transport capable. Using CFD modelling

  16. Periodic Trajectories in Aeolian Sand Transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valance, A.; Jenkins, J. T.

    2014-12-01

    Saltation is the primary mode of aeolian sand transport and refers to the hoping motion of grains over the bed [1]. We develop a simple model for steady, uniform transport in aeolian saltation over a horizontal bed that is based on the computation of periodic particle trajectories in a turbulent shearing flow [2]. The wind and the particles interact through drag, and the particles collide with the bed. We consider collisions with a rigid, bumpy bed, from which the particles rebound, and an erodible particle bed, for which a collision involves both rebound and particle ejection. The difference in the nature of the collisions results in qualitative differences in the nature of the solutions for the periodic trajectories and, in particular, to differences in the dependence of the particle flow rate on the strength of the turbulent shearing. We also discuss the pertinence of this model to describe bedload transport in water. References:[1] R. A. Bagnold, « The physics of blown sand and desert dunes » , Methuen, New York (1941).[2] J.T Jenkins and A. Valance. Periodic trajectories in Aeolian saltation transport. Physics of Fluids, 2014, 26, pp. 073301

  17. Measurements of wind, aeolian sand transport, and precipitation in the Colorado River corridor, Grand Canyon, Arizona; January 2005 to January 2006

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Draut, Amy E.; Rubin, David M.

    2006-01-01

    evaluate the potential for aeolian reworking of new fluvial sand deposits, and restoration of higher-elevation aeolian deposits, following the 60-hour controlled flood release from Glen Canyon Dam in November 2004. Substantial deposition of new sand occurred at all study sites during this high-flow experiment, but most of the new sediment was eroded by high flow fluctuations between January and March 2005. Comparison of aeolian sand transport in the spring windy seasons of the preand post-flood years indicates that, where some of the flood-deposited sand remained by spring, aeolian sand transport was significantly higher than during the pre-flood spring. Gully incision in an aeolian dune field was observed to be partially ameliorated by deposition of wind-blown sand derived from a nearby 2004 flood deposit. These results imply that sediment-rich controlled floods can renew sand deposition in aeolian dune fields above the flood-stage elevation. The potential for restoration of archaeological sites in aeolian deposits can be maximized by using dam operations that maximize the open sand area on fluvial sandbars during spring, when aeolian sediment transport is greatest.

  18. Transport and mixing of eolian sand from local sources resulting in variations in grain size in a gypsum dune field, White Sands, New Mexico, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langford, Richard P.; Gill, Thomas E.; Jones, Slade B.

    2016-03-01

    The White Sands Dune Field, New Mexico (USA), provides a unique opportunity to study sources and eolian transport of sand. End member mixing analysis provides unbiased correlation of the grain size distributions of populations that mix sands from four different local source surface types. Textural differences between sources allow local transport paths to be deduced. In total, 1214 surface samples from 10 dunes and 2 downwind-oriented transects were collected. Neither elevation on the dune, lee or stoss location nor distance downwind correlated with mean grain size, coarsest 10% (D90), or sorting. Instead, grain size distributions are controlled by mixing of locally sourced sand populations. Adjacent dunes can have different mean grain sizes, resulting from different local source populations. Local within-dune and between-dune variability resulting from different sand sources dominates any larger-scale trends across and within dunes. Four sand populations are identified, based on microscopically observable differences in grain size, shape and angularity. Each correlates with high loading of a different statistical factor, derived from End Member Mixing Analysis. End Member 1 (EM1) correlates with well-sorted populations of finer-grained, equant, rounded sands. EM2 correlates with samples that contain moderately sorted populations containing angular blades and crystal aggregates associated with erosional interdunes. EM3 is associated with samples of moderately to poorly sorted fine-grained sand containing fine sand-sized gypsum needles collected from areas of vegetated interdunes, and EM4 is associated with moderately well sorted coarse- and very coarse-grained sands collected from granule ripples. These results suggest that downwind mixing of different populations and segregation by different depositional processes influence grain size distributions in the dune field, rather than by dune-scale or erg-scale transport and sorting.

  19. Introducing a New International Society of Aeolian Research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aeolian research is long-standing and rapidly growing area of study where scientists of many disciplines meet to investigate the effects of wind on the surface of the Earth and other planetary bodies, such as Mars and Titan. Fields of study in aeolian research cover a broad spectrum ranging from dev...

  20. Fortune Cookie Sand Dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-432, 25 July 2003

    This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a field of small barchan sand dunes in the north polar region near 71.7oN, 51.3oW. Some of them are shaped like fortune cookies. The message these dunes provide: winds blow through this region from the lower right toward the upper left. The steep slip face slopes of these dunes, which point toward the upper left, indicate the wind direction. The scene is illuminated by sunlight from the upper right. The image is 3 km (1.9 mi) wide.

  1. Dune Avalanche Scars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    05 August 2004 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows large, low albedo (dark) sand dunes in Kaiser Crater near 47.2oS, 340.4oW. The dunes are--ever so slowly--moving east to west (right to left) as sand avalanches down the steeper, slip face slopes of each. Avalanching sand in the Kaiser dune field has left deep scars on these slopes, suggesting that the sand is not loose but is instead weakly cemented. The image covers an area approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left.

  2. Booming Dune Instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreotti, B.; Bonneau, L.

    2009-12-01

    Sand avalanches flowing down the leeward face of some desert dunes spontaneously produce a loud sound with a characteristic vibrato around a well-defined frequency, a phenomenon called the “song of dunes.” Here, we show through theory that a homogenous granular surface flow is linearly unstable towards growing elastic waves when a localized shear band forms at the interface between the avalanche and the static part of the dune. We unravel the nature of the acoustic amplifying mechanism at the origin of this booming instability. The dispersion relation and the shape of the most unstable modes are computed and compared to field measurements.

  3. Booming dune instability.

    PubMed

    Andreotti, B; Bonneau, L

    2009-12-01

    Sand avalanches flowing down the leeward face of some desert dunes spontaneously produce a loud sound with a characteristic vibrato around a well-defined frequency, a phenomenon called the "song of dunes." Here, we show through theory that a homogenous granular surface flow is linearly unstable towards growing elastic waves when a localized shear band forms at the interface between the avalanche and the static part of the dune. We unravel the nature of the acoustic amplifying mechanism at the origin of this booming instability. The dispersion relation and the shape of the most unstable modes are computed and compared to field measurements. PMID:20366176

  4. North Polar Dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    23 January 2006 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows dark sand dunes in the north polar region of Mars. Surrounding much of the north polar ice cap are fields of sand dunes. In this case, the strongest winds responsible for the dunes blew off the polar cap (not seen here), from the north-northwest (upper left).

    Location near: 76.5oN, 63.7oW Image width: 3 km (1.9 mi) Illumination from: lower left Season: Northern Summer

  5. Reproducibility and utility of dune luminescence chronologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leighton, Carly L.; Thomas, David S. G.; Bailey, Richard M.

    2014-02-01

    Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of dune deposits has increasingly been used as a tool to investigate the response of aeolian systems to environmental change. Amalgamation of individual dune accumulation chronologies has been employed in order to distinguish regional from local geomorphic responses to change. However, advances in dating have produced chronologies of increasing complexity. In particular, questions regarding the interpretation of dune ages have been raised, including over the most appropriate method to evaluate the significance of suites of OSL ages when local 'noisy' and discontinuous records are combined. In this paper, these issues are reviewed and the reproducibility of dune chronologies is assessed. OSL ages from two cores sampled from the same dune in the northeast Rub' al Khali, United Arab Emirates, are presented and compared, alongside an analysis of previously published dune ages dated to within the last 30 ka. Distinct periods of aeolian activity and preservation are identified, which can be tied to regional climatic and environmental changes. This case study is used to address fundamental questions that are persistently asked of dune dating studies, including the appropriate spatial scale over which to infer environmental and climatic change based on dune chronologies, whether chronological hiatuses can be interpreted, how to most appropriately combine and display datasets, and the relationship between geomorphic and palaeoclimatic signals. Chronological profiles reflect localised responses to environmental variability and climatic forcing, and amalgamation of datasets, with consideration of sampling resolution, is required; otherwise local factors are always likely to dominate. Using net accumulation rates to display ages may provide an informative approach of analysing and presenting dune OSL chronologies less susceptible to biases resulting from insufficient sampling resolution.

  6. The potential scale of aeolian structures on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marshall, J. R.; Greeley, Ronald

    1991-01-01

    Simulations of the Venusian aeolian environment with the Venus Wind Tunnel have shown that microdunes are formed during the entrainment of sand-sized material. These structures are several tens of centimeters long (2-3 cm high) and combine the morphological and behavioral characteristics of both full-scale terrestrial dunes and current ripples formed in subaqueous environments. Their similarity to both reflects the fact that the Venusian atmosphere has a density intermediate between air and water. Although the development of microdunes in the wind tunnel experiments was limited by tunnel dimensions, it is possible to make some predictions about their potential size on Venus, and the potential size of related aeolian structures. Microdunes are fluid-filled structures (as are dunes and current ripples) and as such have no theoretical upper limit to their size from a fluid dynamics viewpoint. Limitations to size observed in subaqueous structures are set by, for example, water depth; limitations to the size of dunes are set by, for example, sand supply. It is therefore reasonable to suppose that the microdunes on Venus could evolve into much larger features than those observed in experiments. In addition, the researchers note that current ripples (which are closely related to microdunes) are often found in association with giant ripples that have dimensions similar to aeolian dunes. Thus, it may be reasonable to assume that analogous large scale structures occur on Venus. Both (terrestrial) aeolian and subaqueous environments generate structures in excess of one hundred meters in wavelength. Such dimensions may therefore be applicable to Venusian bedforms. Analysis of Magellan data may resolve the issue.

  7. June 2004 Autumn Dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    7 June 2004 Presently, it is autumn in the southern hemisphere of Mars. Sand dunes at high and middle latitudes are becoming cold and frosted. This frost, probably water ice, is persistent enough that it is still present around 2 p.m. in the afternoon, when Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) flies over these dune fields. This MGS Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows an intracrater dune field at 59.4oS, 158.9oW, as it appeared last week on 3 June 2004. In summer, these dunes would be very dark relative to the substrate on which they occur. In autumn, as shown here, they begin to accumulate frost that will last through the coming winter. Southern hemisphere winter will arrive around 20 September 2004. The image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across and is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left.

  8. Advanced Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Imaging Radar (InSAR) for Dune Mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Havivi, Shiran; Amir, Doron; Schvartzman, Ilan; August, Yitzhak; Mamman, Shimrit; Rotman, Stanely R.; Blumberg, Dan G.

    2016-04-01

    Aeolian morphologies are formed in the presence of sufficient wind energy and available lose particles. These processes occur naturally or are further enhanced or reduced by human intervention. The dimensions of change are dependent primarily on the wind energy and surface properties. Since the 1970s, remote sensing imagery, both optical and radar, have been used for documentation and interpretation of the geomorphologic changes of sand dunes. Remote sensing studies of aeolian morphologies is mostly useful to document major changes, yet, subtle changes, occurring in a period of days or months in scales of centimeters, are very difficult to detect in imagery. Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) is an imaging technique for measuring Earth's surface topography and deformation. InSAR images are produced by measuring the radar phase difference between two separated antennas that view the same surface area. Classical InSAR is based on high coherence between two or more images. The output (interferogram) can show subtle changes with an accuracy of several millimeters to centimeters. Very little work has been done on measuring or identifying the changes in dunes using InSAR methods. The reason is that dunes tend to be less coherent than firm, stable, surfaces. This work aims to demonstrate how interferometric decorrelation can be used for identifying dune instability. We hypothesize and demonstrate that the loss of radar coherence over time on dunes can be used as an indication of the dune's instability. When SAR images are acquired at sufficiently close intervals one can measure the time it takes to lose coherence and associate this time with geomorphic stability. To achieve our goals, the coherence change detection method was used, in order to identify dune stability or instability and the dune activity level. The Nitzanim-Ashdod coastal dunes along the Mediterranean, 40 km south of Tel-Aviv, Israel, were chosen as a case study. The dunes in this area are of

  9. Aeolian transport pathways along the transition from Tibetan highlands towards northwestern Chinese deserts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nottebaum, Veit; Lehmkuhl, Frank; Stauch, Georg

    2014-05-01

    basins leads to fluvial sediment aggradation and allows comparably high fine sand deflation. This supports the formation of sandy loess in these regions and on foreland alluvial fans, whereas in contrast, sandy loess is absent in the high mountain geomorphologic setting. Aeolian sand distribution in the study area indicates a high dependence on sand supply. In eastern forelands perennial Hei River and northerly bordering Badain Jaran desert are important sand sources and hence support dune field formation in the northern Qilian Shan foreland (Hexi Corridor). In contrast, western forelands, dominated by gravel gobi surfaces, exhibit very few aeolian sand accumulations on the surface. The latter area shows only ephemeral discharge and is lacking large sand source areas. Therefore, although sufficient wind speeds occur, aeolian sand transport is limited due to restricted sand supply. Concluding, the medium scale geomorphological setting (103 m) exerts a rather underestimated influence when reconstructing aeolian transport processes. However, considering the spatial distribution of aeolian sediments in combination with their grain size distribution allows the reconstruction of dominant transport pathways.

  10. Reorientation Timescales and Pattern Dynamics for Titan's Dunes: Does the Tail Wag the Dog or the Dragon?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewing, R. C.; Hayes, A. G.; McCormick, C.; Ballard, C.; Troy, S. A.

    2012-04-01

    Fields of bedform patterns persist across many orders of magnitude, from cm-scale sub-aqueous current ripples to km-scale aeolian dunes, and form with surprisingly little difference in expression despite a range of formative environments. Because of the remarkable similarity among bedform patterns, extracting information about climate and environment from these patterns is a challenge. For example, crestline orientation is not diagnostic of a particular flow regime; similar patterns form under many different flow configurations. On Titan, these challenges have played out with many attempts to reconcile dune crestline orientation with modeled and expected wind regimes. We propose that thinking about the time-scale of the change in dune orientation, rather than the orientation itself, can provide new insights on the long-term stability of the dune-field patterns and the formative wind regime. In this work, we apply the crestline re-orientation model developed by Werner and Kocurek [Geology, 1997] to the equatorial dune fields of Titan. We use Cassini Synthetic Aperture Radar images processed through a de-noising algorithm recently developed by Lucas et al. [LPSC, 2012] to measure variations in pattern parameters (crest spacing, crest length and defect density, which is the number of defect pairs per total crest length) both within and between Titan's dune fields to describe pattern maturity and identify areas where changes in dune orientation are likely to occur (or may already be occurring). Measured defect densities are similar to Earth's largest linear dune fields, such as the Namib Sand Sea and the Simpson Desert. We use measured defect densities in the Werner and Kocurek model to estimate crestline reorientation rates. We find reorientation timescales varying from ten to a hundred thousand times the average migration timescale (time to migrate a bedform one meter, ~1 Titan year according to Tokano (Aeolian Research, 2010)). Well-organized patterns have the

  11. Booming Sand Dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vriend, Nathalie

    "Booming" sand dunes are able to produce low-frequency sound that resembles a pure note from a music instrument. The sound has a dominant audible frequency (70-105 Hz) and several higher harmonics and may be heard from far distances away. A natural or induced avalanche from a slip face of the booming dune triggers the emission that may last for several minutes. There are various references in travel literature to the phenomenon, but to date no scientific explanation covered all field observations. This thesis introduces a new physical model that describes the phenomenon of booming dunes. The waveguide model explains the selection of the booming frequency and the amplification of the sound in terms of constructive interference in a confined geometry. The frequency of the booming is a direct function of the dimensions and velocities in the waveguide. The higher harmonics are related to the higher modes of propagation in the waveguide. The experimental validation includes quantitative field research at the booming dunes of the Mojave Desert and Death Valley National Park. Microphone and geophone recordings of the acoustic and seismic emission show a variation of booming frequency in space and time. The analysis of the sensor data quantifies wave propagation characteristics such as speed, dispersion, and nonlinear effects and allows the distinction between the source mechanism of the booming and the booming itself. The migration of sand dunes results from a complicated interplay between dune building, wind regime, and precipitation. The morphological and morphodynamical characteristics of two field locations are analyzed with various geophysical techniques. Ground-penetrating radar images the subsurface structure of the dunes and reveal a natural, internal layering that is directly related to the history of dune migration. The seismic velocity increases abruptly with depth and gradually increases with downhill position due to compaction. Sand sampling shows local

  12. Analysis of dark albedo features on a southern polar dune field of Mars.

    PubMed

    Horváth, András; Kereszturi, Akos; Bérczi, Szaniszló; Sik, András; Pócs, Tamás; Gánti, Tibor; Szathmáry, Eörs

    2009-01-01

    We observed 20-200 m sized low-albedo seepage-like streaks and their annual change on defrosting polar dunes in the southern hemisphere of Mars, based on the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC), High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), and High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images. The structures originate from dark spots and can be described as elongated or flowlike and, at places, branching streaks. They frequently have another spotlike structure at their end. Their overall appearance and the correlation between their morphometric parameters suggest that some material is transported downward from the spots and accumulates at the bottom of the dune's slopes. Here, we present possible scenarios for the origin of such streaks, including dry avalanche, liquid CO(2), liquid H(2)O, and gas-phase CO(2). Based on their morphology and the currently known surface conditions of Mars, no model interprets the streaks satisfactorily. The best interpretation of only the morphology and morphometric characteristics is only given by the model that implies some liquid water. The latest HiRISE images are also promising and suggest liquid flow. We suggest, with better knowledge of sub-ice temperatures that result from extended polar solar insolation and the heat insulator capacity of water vapor and water ice, future models and measurements may show that ephemeral water could appear and flow under the surface ice layer on the dunes today. PMID:19203240

  13. Analysis of dark albedo features on a southern polar dune field of Mars.

    PubMed

    Horváth, András; Kereszturi, Akos; Bérczi, Szaniszló; Sik, András; Pócs, Tamás; Gánti, Tibor; Szathmáry, Eörs

    2009-01-01

    We observed 20-200 m sized low-albedo seepage-like streaks and their annual change on defrosting polar dunes in the southern hemisphere of Mars, based on the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC), High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), and High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images. The structures originate from dark spots and can be described as elongated or flowlike and, at places, branching streaks. They frequently have another spotlike structure at their end. Their overall appearance and the correlation between their morphometric parameters suggest that some material is transported downward from the spots and accumulates at the bottom of the dune's slopes. Here, we present possible scenarios for the origin of such streaks, including dry avalanche, liquid CO(2), liquid H(2)O, and gas-phase CO(2). Based on their morphology and the currently known surface conditions of Mars, no model interprets the streaks satisfactorily. The best interpretation of only the morphology and morphometric characteristics is only given by the model that implies some liquid water. The latest HiRISE images are also promising and suggest liquid flow. We suggest, with better knowledge of sub-ice temperatures that result from extended polar solar insolation and the heat insulator capacity of water vapor and water ice, future models and measurements may show that ephemeral water could appear and flow under the surface ice layer on the dunes today.

  14. Selective deposition response to aeolian-fluvial sediment supply in the desert braided channel of the upper Yellow River, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, H.; Jia, X.; Li, Y.; Peng, W.

    2015-09-01

    Rivers flow across aeolian dunes and develop braided stream channels. Both aeolian and fluvial sediment supplies regulate sediment transport and deposition in such cross-dune braided rivers. Here we show a significant selective deposition in response to both aeolian and fluvial sediment supplies in the Ulan Buh desert braided channel. The Ulan Buh desert is the main coarse sediment source for this desert braided channel, and the mean percentage of the coarser (> 0.08 mm) grains on the aeolian dunes surface is 95.34 %. The lateral selective deposition process is developed by the interaction between the flows and the aeolian-fluvial sediment supplies, causing the coarser sediments (> 0.08 mm) from aeolian sand supply and bank erosion to accumulate in the channel centre and the finer fluvial sediments (< 0.08 mm) to be deposited on the bar and floodplain surfaces, forming a coarser-grained thalweg bed bounded by finer-grained floodplain surfaces. This lateral selective deposition reduces the downstream sediment transport and is a primary reason for the formation of an "above-ground" river in the braided reach of the upper Yellow River in response to aeolian and fluvial sediment supplies.

  15. The importance of dunes on a variety of planetary surfaces

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Titus, Timothy N.; Zimbelman, James R.; Radebaugh, Jani

    2015-01-01

    Scientists observe aeolian bed forms, or dune-like structures, throughout the solar system in a range of locations, from bodies with only transient atmospheres, such as comets, to places with thick atmospheres, such as Venus and the Earth’s ocean floor. Determining the source of sand and the different dune formations that result are thus important to understanding solar system and planetary evolution.

  16. The Holocene evolution of the beach and inland aeolian sand of the north-central Mediterranean coast of Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roskin, Joel; Sivan, Dorit; Bookman, Revital; Shteinberg, Gilad

    2015-04-01

    Israel's coastal geomorphology, situated within a Mediterranean climate zone, is characterized by parallel Pleistocene aeolianite ridges, coastal cliffs of aeolianite, and sandy beaches. Lobe-like fields of predominantly stable transverse and parabolic quartz sand dunes protrude 2-7 km inland from the current Mediterranean Sea coastline. However, their migration and accumulation history is still not well-defined. This study focuses on the Holocene appearance, chronology and drivers of beach sand deposition and inland aeolian sand transport along the Caesarea-Hadera dunefield in the north-central coastal plain of Israel. In order to achieve these goals, a detailed field survey and sampling campaign was carried out along a west-east and southwest-northeast transect, loyal to the advancement orientations of the currently stable dunes and directions of dominant sand transporting winds. Beach sand, a foredune, a linear dune, and interdunes of parabolic and transverse dunes were sampled down to their aeolianite or red loam (locally named hamra) palaeosol substrate by drilling and analyzing exposed sections. The sampled sediments were sedimentologically analyzed and twenty-five were dated by optically stimulated luminescence (OSL). The results indicate that beach sand started to accumulate rapidly around 6 ka probably in response to global sea level stabilization. Until around 4 ka, thin sand sheets encroached 2-3 km inland. Sand ages in the range of 1.2-1.1 ka (8th-9th century CE -- Early Moslem period) were found throughout the study area, suggesting a major mobilization of sand, followed by stabilization around 0.6 ka and pedogenesis. By 1.2 ka, the sands had reached their current extent of 5-7 km inland, suggesting transport in a southwest-northeast orientation similar to the advancement orientation of the current transverse and parabolic dunes. The particle-size distributions of the fine to medium-sized aeolian sand showed minor variation linked to inland transport

  17. Aeolian sediment transport and landforms in managed coastal systems: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, Nancy L.; Nordstrom, Karl F.

    2011-11-01

    Humans modify beaches and dunes and aeolian transport potential by building structures, walking or driving, extracting resources, accommodating recreation, increasing levels of protection, removing storm deposits, or restoring landforms and habitats. The effects of human adjustments are reviewed here in terms of cross-shore zones because humans tend to compartmentalize landforms and habitats through their actions and regulations. Common human modifications in the beach zone include nourishing beaches, constructing shore protection structures and raking to remove litter. Modifications affecting the dune zone include altering the location, size and stability of dunes using sand-trapping fences, vegetation plantings and bulldozers or replacing dunes with shore-parallel structures. Modifications affecting the landward zone include buildings, roads, and parking lots. Landform and habitat resilience requires levels of dynamism and geomorphic complexity not often found in managed systems. Preserving or enhancing dynamism and complexity requires emphasis on innovative designs rooted in geomorphological and aeolian research. Future studies are suggested for: (1) quantifying the effect of small and large scale beach nourishment designs and sediment characteristics on dune initiation, development, and evolution; (2) quantifying the extent to which size and spacing of human structures and landform alterations inhibit sediment transfers alongshore or onshore; (3) identifying the advantages or disadvantages of "niche" dunes formed by structures; (4) providing quantitative data on the effects of raking or driving on the beach; (5) identifying the role of aeolian landforms on private properties; and (6) identifying alternative ways of employing sand fences and vegetation plantings to increase topographic and habitat diversity.

  18. The observation of Martian dune migration using very high resolution image analysis and photogrammetric data processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jungrack; Yun, Hyewon; Kim, Younghwi; Baik, Hyunseob

    2016-04-01

    Although the origins and processes of Martian aeolian features, especially dunes, have not been fully identified yet, it has been better understood by the orbital observation method which has led to the identification of Martian dune migration such as a case in Nili Patera (Bridges, 2012), and the numerical model employing advanced computational fluid dynamics (Jackson et al., 2015). Specifically, the recent introduction of very high-resolution image products, such as 25 cm-resolution HiRISE imagery and its precise photogrammetric processor, allows us to trace the estimated, although tiny, dune migration over the Martian surface. In this study, we attempted to improve the accuracy of active dune migration measurements by 1) the introduction of very high resolution ortho images and stereo analysis based on the hierarchical geodetic control (Kim and Muller, 2009) for better initial point settings; 2) positioning error removal throughout polynomial image control; and 3) the improved sub-pixel co-registration algorithms using optical flow with a refinement stage conducted on a pyramidal grid processor and a blunder classifier. Consequently, this scheme not only measured Martian dune migration more precisely, but it will further achieve the extension of 3D observations combining stereo analysis and photoclinometry. The established algorithms have been tested using the HiRISE time series images over several dune fields, such as the Kaiser, Procter, and Wirtz craters, which were reported by the Mars Global Digital Dune Database (Hayward et al., 2013). The detected dune migrations were significantly larger than previously reported values and slightly correlated with the wind directions estimated by Martian Climate Database (Bingham et al., 2003). The outcomes in our study will be demonstrated with the quantified values in 2D and volumetric direction. In the future, the method will be further applied to the dune fields in the Mars Global dune database comprehensively and

  19. Simultaneous observations of the critical aeolian threshold of two surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stout, John E.

    2007-03-01

    Threshold is an important parameter in wind erosion research and in the field of aeolian research in general. A new technique was recently developed that provides a means of determining threshold with a sampling system that continuously collects wind data along with critical information regarding saltation activity. By employing two identical sampling systems, it was possible to monitor the threshold of a highly mobile sand surface while simultaneously monitoring the threshold of a less mobile playa surface. Results indicate that threshold could be measured at both locations with enough precision to establish clear differences between the surfaces. The sandy surface at the Morgenstern Dunes site was considerably more active than the Yellow Lake playa site over the 113-day sampling period because of its consistently lower threshold. The Morgenstern site tended to maintain a fairly constant threshold of around 5.4 to 5.5 m/s whereas the threshold of the Yellow Lake playa surface varied from a low of 6.4 m/s to values greater than 13.3 m/s. Limitations of this method lie in the fact that threshold can be determined only when winds are blowing sufficiently strongly to cause sediment transport.

  20. Terrestrial sensitivity to abrupt cooling recorded by aeolian activity in northwest Ohio, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell, M.C.; Fisher, T.G.; Goble, R.J.

    2011-01-01

    Optically stimulated luminescence dated sand dunes and Pleistocene beach ridges in northwest Ohio are used to reconstruct landscape modification more than 5000. yr after deglaciation. Four of the OSL ages (13.3-11.1. ka) cluster around the Younger Dryas cold event, five ages (10.8-8.2. ka) cluster around the Preboreal, one young age (0.9-0.7. ka) records more recent aeolian activity, and one age of 15.1-13.1. ka dates a barrier spit in Lake Warren. In northwest Ohio, both landscape instability recorded by aeolian activity and a vegetation response recorded by pollen are coeval with the Younger Dryas. However, the climate conditions during the Preboreal resulting in aeolian activity are not recorded in the available pollen records. From this, we conclude that aeolian dunes and surfaces susceptible to deflation are sensitive to cooler, drier episodes of climate and can complement pollen data. Younger Dryas and Preboreal aged aeolian activity in northwestern Ohio coincides with aeolian records elsewhere in the Great Lakes region east of the prairie-forest ecotone. ?? 2011 University of Washington.

  1. Aeolian sand preserved in Silver Lake: a new signal of Holocene high stands of Lake Michigan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fisher, Timothy G.; Loope, Walter L.

    2005-01-01

    Aeolian sand within lake sediment from Silver Lake, Michigan can be used as a proxy for the timing of high lake levels of Lake Michigan.We demonstrate that the sand record from Silver Lake plotted as percent weight is in-phase with the elevation curve of Lake Michigan since the mid-Holocene Nipissing Phase. Because fluctuations in Lake Michigan's lake level are recorded in beach ridges, and are a response to climate change, the aeolian sand record within Silver Lake is also a proxy for climate change. It appears that increases in dune activity and lake sand are controlled by similar climatic shifts that drive fluctuations in lake level of Lake Michigan. High lake levels destabilize coastal bluffs that drive dune sand instability, and along with greater wintertime storminess, increase niveo-aeolian transport of sand across lake ice. The sand is introduced into the lake each spring as the ice cover melts.

  2. 26Al/10Be dating of an aeolian dust mantle soil in western New South Wales, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, Adrian; Fink, David; Chappell, John; Melville, Michael

    2014-08-01

    Aeolian dust mantle soils are an important element of many landscapes in south-eastern Australia, though the age of these aeolian deposits has not been radiometrically determined. At Fowlers Gap in western New South Wales, surface cobbles of silcrete and quartz overlie a stone-free, aeolian dust mantle soil, which has a thickness of about 1.6 m. The clay-rich aeolian dust deposit in turn lies upon a buried silcrete and quartz stone layer. Modelling in-situ cosmogenic 26Al and 10Be concentrations measured in both the surface quartz stones and in the buried quartz layer of rocks, reveals that each has experienced a complex exposure-burial history. Due to the absence of quartz stones or sand at intermediate depths, our cosmogenic 26Al and 10Be modelling was not able to determine a definitive mechanism of stone pavement formation and stone burial. Various scenarios of stone formation, transport, burial and exhumation were tested that constrain the age of the deposit to range from 0.9 ± 0.2 Ma to 1.8 ± 0.2 Ma, based largely on different assumptions taken for the time-dependency of the net sedimentation rate. This corresponds with the initiation of the Simpson Desert dune fields and the deflation of lakes in central Australia, which probably responded to the shift to longer-wavelength, larger-amplitude Quaternary glacial cycles at around 1 Ma. Sensitivity analyses were carried out to identify those parameters which better constrained model outputs. Within model errors, which largely are the result of analytical errors in measured 26Al and 10Be concentrations, all three competing theories of colluvial wash, upward displacement of stones, and cumulic pedogenesis are possible mechanisms for the formation of the surface stone pavement.

  3. Aeolian modification of planetary surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R.

    1982-01-01

    Any planet or satellite having a dynamic atmosphere and a solid surface is subject to aeolian or wind processes. A survey of the solar system shows that earth, Mars, Venus, and possibly Titan meet these criteria. Attention is given to the relevance of aeolian processes to planetary geology, approaches for investigating aeolian processes, observations on Mars, conditions on Venus, and studies of Titan with the aid of the Voyager spacecraft. It is found that aeolian processes play an important role in the modification of the surfaces of earth and Mars. Indirect evidence suggests that Venus and perhaps Titan also may experience aeolian activity. Study of aeolian activity in a planetary context thus affords the opportunity to examine a fundamental process under a wide range of environmental conditions. Each planet can be viewed as a vast natural laboratory.

  4. Mars sampling strategy and aeolian processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald

    1988-01-01

    It is critical that the geological context of planetary samples (both in situ analyses and return samples) be well known and documented. Apollo experience showed that this goal is often difficult to achieve even for a planet on which surficial processes are relatively restricted. On Mars, the variety of present and past surface processes is much greater than on the Moon and establishing the geological context of samples will be much more difficult. In addition to impact hardening, Mars has been modified by running water, periglacial activity, wind, and other processes, all of which have the potential for profoundly affecting the geological integrity of potential samples. Aeolian, or wind, processes are ubiquitous on Mars. In the absence of liquid water on the surface, aeolian activity dominates the present surface as documented by frequent dust storms (both local and global), landforms such as dunes, and variable features, i.e., albedo patterns which change their size, shape, and position with time in response to the wind.

  5. The booming dune instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreotti, B.; Bonneau, L.

    2009-12-01

    Sand avalanches flowing down the leeward face of some desert dunes spontaneously produce a loud sound with a characteristic vibrato around a well defined frequency, a phenomenon called the "song of dunes". Here, we show theoretically that an homogenous granular surface flow is linearly unstable towards growing elastic waves when a localized shear band form at the interface between the avalanche and the static part of the dune. We unravel the nature of the acoustic amplifying mechanism at the origin of this booming instability. The dispersion relation and the shape of the most unstable modes are computed and compared to field records performed in the Atlantic Sahara. We finally show that several characteristics predicted by the model and observed in the field allow to dismiss former hypothesis based on resonances or the synchronisation of sand grain collisions.

  6. Interdisciplinary research produces results in understanding planetary dunes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Titus, Timothy N.; Hayward, Rosalyn K.; Dinwiddie, Cynthia L.

    2012-01-01

    Third International Planetary Dunes Workshop: Remote Sensing and Image Analysis of Planetary Dunes; Flagstaff, Arizona, 12–16 June 2012. This workshop, the third in a biennial series, was convened as a means of bringing together terrestrial and planetary researchers from diverse backgrounds with the goal of fostering collaborative interdisciplinary research. The small-group setting facilitated intensive discussions of many problems associated with aeolian processes on Earth, Mars, Venus, Titan, Triton, and Pluto. The workshop produced a list of key scientifc questions about planetary dune felds.

  7. The role of aeolian dust in ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McTainsh, Grant; Strong, Craig

    2007-09-01

    The recent upsurge in research attention to aeolian dust has shown that dust transport systems operate on very large spatial and temporal scales, and involve much larger quantities of sediment than was previously realized. An inevitable consequence of this is that researchers from a range of neighbouring disciplines, including ecology, are beginning to realize that this new knowledge has important implications for their study areas. In the present paper, we examine the ecological implications (real and potential) of this expanding knowledge of dust transport systems, with a particular emphasis upon the Australian dust transport system. We track these ecological effects from source to sink. At source, wind erosion-soil-vegetation relationships are often dominated by temporal changes in rainfall. Nine years of measurements in the Channel Country of the Lake Eyre Basin, Australia show that vegetation and soils in dune fields can recover from drought, whereas on inter-fluve grasslands uni-directional and negative successional vegetation changes can result from wind erosion during drought. On floodplains, both wind erosion and vegetation responses are complicated by flood frequency. Up to 1999 flooding of saline claypans did not increase vegetation but did increase wind erosion through the supply of alluvial fines. However, after three floods within as many months vegetation became established and wind erosion rates were dramatically reduced. Wind erosion research attention is now gradually turning from the physical to the organic content of eroded dusts. In Australia organic matter content can reach 65% by mass, but this cannot be explained by removal of soil organic matter alone. Biological soil crusts not only stabilize soils against wind erosion but contribute to some of the organic dusts. The role of dust as a vector for pathogens is an area which deserves greater research attention in the future. Downwind from source, we show that dust contributions to soils are

  8. Contemporary research in aeolian geomorphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, B. O.

    2009-04-01

    The first International Conference on Aeolian Geomorphology (ICAR) was held in 1986, and every four years since then, aeolian geomorphologists from around the world have assembled to discuss their research and to showcase recent advancements in understanding and modeling of aeolian processes. A content analysis of the "Bibliography of Aeolian Research" [Stout, J.E., Warren, A., Gill, T.E., 2009. Publication trends in aeolian research: An analysis of the Bibliography of Aeolian Research. Geomorphology 105, 6-17 (this volume)] shows that the number of publications on aeolian topics has increased exponentially from the mid-20th Century with approximately 50 publications per year to about 500 publications per year when the first ICAR was held, to almost 1000 publications per year currently. Areas of focus have shifted historically from initial concerns with aeolian erosion and dust events as isolated phenomenon of localized curiosity or only regional importance, to comprehensive physically-based investigations and modeling of the mechanics of aeolian transport. Recently, more applied studies have been motivated by the recognition of the importance of aeolian processes to dust emissions into the atmosphere (with relevance for human health and for meteorological conditions and climate change) and within regional management contexts (especially on coasts where impending sea-level rise is of great concern and in arid and semi-arid environments given the dependence of sediment surface stability and remobilization on meteorological and ecological conditions). Aeolian geomorphology is a rapidly growing sub-discipline of Geomorphology that offers rich opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations with colleagues from the Atmospheric Sciences, Climatology, Sedimentology, Quaternary Geology, Fluid Mechanics, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Physical Geography, Ecology, and Agricultural Sciences, as well as our counterparts in fluvial, coastal, and arid

  9. Ecogeomorphology of Sand Dunes Shaped by Vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsoar, H.

    2014-12-01

    Two dune types associated with vegetation are known: Parabolic and Vegetated Linear Dunes (VLDs), the latters are the dominant dune type in the world deserts. Parabolic dunes are formed in humid, sub-humid and semi-arid environments (rather than arid) where vegetation is nearby. VLDs are known today in semiarid and arid lands where the average yearly rainfall is ≥100 mm, enough to support sparse cover of vegetation. These two dune types are formed by unidirectional winds although they demonstrate a different form and have a distinct dynamics. Conceptual and mathematical models of dunes mobility and stability, based on three control parameters: wind power (DP), average annual precipitation (p), and the human impact parameter (μ) show that where human impact is negligible the effect of wind power (DP) on vegetative cover is substantial. The average yearly rainfall of 60-80 mm is the threshold of annual average rainfall for vegetation growth on dune sand. The model is shown to follow a hysteresis path, which explains the bistability of active and stabilized dunes under the same climatic conditions with respect to wind power. We have discerned formation of parabolic dunes from barchans and transverse dunes in the coastal plain of Israel where a decrease in human activity during the second half of the 20th century caused establishment of vegetation on the crest of the dunes, a process that changed the dynamics of these barchans and transverse dunes and led to a change in the shape of the windward slope from convex to concave. These dunes gradually became parabolic. It seems that VLDs in Australia or the Kalahari have always been vegetated to some degree, though the shrubs were sparser in colder periods when the aeolian erosion was sizeable. Those ancient conditions are characterized by higher wind power and lower rainfall that can reduce, but not completely destroy, the vegetation cover, leading to the formation of lee (shadow) dunes behind each shrub. Formation of

  10. Caterpillar Dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    28 June 2004 Looking somewhat like caterpillars, this April 2004 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows some of the rounded, wind-eroded sand dune features in a crater in the southern hemisphere near 61.7oS, 160.3oW. For such rounding to occur, the dune sand might need to be somewhat cemented. The picture covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left.

  11. Copernicus Dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    22 December 2005 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows dark teardrop-shaped sand dunes in eastern Copernicus Crater. The winds responsible for these dunes generally blow from the south-southwest (lower left).

    Location near: 48.7oS, 167.4oW Image width: 3 km (1.9 mi) Illumination from: upper left Season: Southern Summer

  12. A review of the chronologies and geomorphology of the aeolian landforms in the northwestern Negev dunefield (Israel)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roskin, Joel

    2015-04-01

    The northwestern (NW) Negev Desert dunefield covering an area of only 1,300 km2, comprises the eastern end of the northern Sinai Peninsula - NW Negev erg and is probably the most densely dated dune body in the INQUA Dunes Atlas chronologic database. Over 230 luminescence ages (TL, IRSL, and mainly OSL) and radiocarbon dates have been retrieved over the past course of 20 years from calcic and sandy palaeosols serving as dune substrates, sand sheets, vegetated linear dunes (VLDs), fluvial deposits, and archaeological sites. Despite being from different deposit types and aeolian morphologies, and based on different methodologies, the chronologies usually show good compatibility. By reviewing and reassessing the significance of the Eastern Mediterranean INQUA Dunes Atlas chronologies, along with detailed stratigraphic, structural and geomorphologic data and understandings, the major, and possibly extreme, episodes of aeolian activity and stability are outlined. Repetitive chronostratigraphic sequences in VLDs indicate that this dune type, at least in the Negev, comprises a reliable recorder of main dune mobilization periods. This presentation demonstrates that certain combinations of research finds, using different OSL dating strategies and other regional and local late Quaternary records and in particular aeolian ones, are required assets for providing for acceptable local and regional palaeoclimatic interpretations. The distribution of the VLD chronologies points to rapid mobilization during the Heinrich 1 and Younger Dryas, characterized by powerful winds, though VLDs also form in late Holocene palaeoenvironments. Time slices illustrate the different sensitivities of the studied aeolian landforms to the source, availability, and supply of sediment; long- and short-term climate change, local human-induced environmental changes and also their joint effects, that enable evaluation of aeolian responses to future environmental and climate changes.

  13. Dunes with Frost

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    31 May 2004 Springtime for the martian northern hemisphere brings defrosting spots and patterns to the north polar dune fields. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows an example located near 76.7oN, 250.4oW. In summer, these dunes would be darker than their surroundings. However, while they are still covered by frost, they are not any darker than the substrate across which the sand is slowly traveling. Dune movement in this case is dominated by winds that blow from the southwest (lower left) toward the northeast (upper right). The picure covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across and is illuminated by sunlight from the lower left.

  14. Controls on Dune Deformation Patterns in White Sands, New Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, D. B.; Ferdowsi, B.; Jerolmack, D. J.

    2015-12-01

    Eolian dune fields exhibit a variety of pattern transitions, including: the ab initio appearance of dunes from no dunes; transverse to barchan and unvegetated barchan to vegetated parabolic. Recent model predictions offer some insight into the mechanisms underlying some of these transitions. However, there are few direct observations, and tests providing empirical verification are sparse. The White Sands dune field exhibits all three of the aforementioned transitions in sequence, from the upwind to downwind margin, and has the potential to be a testing ground for these predictions. Repeat LiDAR data at White Sands provide an excellent opportunity to study not only dune structure, but also dune dynamics, which can provide insight into how dunes destabilize from one dune morphology into another. We employ a recently developed method for decomposing dune migration into two components: "translation" of a dune, and changes in dune shape referred to as "deformation". We find that the fastest moving dunes (i.e. the dunes translating most quickly) have the largest amount of deformation. Patterns of deformation also vary depending on dune type: transverse dunes experience coherent deformation, while parabolic dunes exhibit highly localized and apparently random deformation. Only a fraction of the deformation can be explained by the migration rate. A significant amount of deformation appears to be attributable to dune-dune interactions, which destabilize dune patterns in locations where dune density is high. At the interface between the transverse to barchan dune patterns, we describe how transverse dunes break up into barchans and compare it to published model results. Regarding the barchan to parabolic transition, we find that the onset of vegetation drives a gradual slowdown in migration rates, while the magnitude of deformation drops and becomes localized to dune crests as the arms are stabilized by plants.

  15. Reestablishing Naturally Functioning Dunes on Developed Coasts.

    PubMed

    Nordstrom; Lampe; Vandemark

    2000-01-01

    / The potential for reestablishing dune habitat is investigated in municipalities in New Jersey, USA, where natural coastal landforms and biota have been eliminated or reduced in extent. Dunes are classified using width, relationship to natural and cultural features, and changes through time, and they are assessed for their value as naturally functioning landforms in developed municipalities. The relationship between size and longevity that exists under natural conditions is altered by human activity. Small dunes on privately owned lots can survive as long as larger dunes in natural areas that are located farther inland, and foredunes repaired using sand fences and earth-moving equipment can survive where they could not under natural conditions.Common beach management practices reduce the ecological values of coastal dunes. Mechanical beach cleaning eliminates incipient dunes, habitat for nesting birds, seed sources for pioneer dune colonizers and food for fauna, and artificially small, stabilized foredunes reduce the variability in microenvironments necessary for biodiversity. Recent initiatives for reducing coastal hazards, protecting nesting birds, and encouraging nature-based tourism provide incentive for the development of a restoration program for beaches and dunes that is compatible with human use. Suggested changes in management practice include restricting or rerouting pedestrian traffic, altering beach-cleaning procedures, using symbolic fences to allow for aeolian transport while preventing trampling of dunes, and eliminating or severely restricting exotic species. Landforms will be more natural in function and appearance but will be more dynamic, smaller and in a different position from those in natural areas. Research needs are specified for ecological, geomorphological, and attitudinal studies to support and inform restoration planning.

  16. Timing of frost deposition on Martian dunes: A clue to properties of dune particles?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas, P.

    1987-01-01

    Scans were made across the Martian dunes found in images taken at several different times to determine the time history of the dune albedo. Atmospheric contributions were estimated using optical depth data and the brightness of shadows in some images. The data show that the dunes brighten very substantially between L(s) = 10 and 40 deg, depending on the latitude. Bright coverings on dunes form outliers 1 to 5 deg north of the cap edge. Formation of the general cap then sometimes reverses the contrast of the dune field with the surrounding area. Causes for the early deposition of frost on dunes relative to surroundings are discussed.

  17. A Comparison of Methods Used to Estimate the Height of Sand Dunes on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bourke, M. C.; Balme, M.; Beyer, R. A.; Williams, K. K.; Zimbelman, J.

    2006-01-01

    The collection of morphometric data on small-scale landforms from other planetary bodies is difficult. We assess four methods that can be used to estimate the height of aeolian dunes on Mars. These are (1) stereography, (2) slip face length, (3) profiling photoclinometry, and (4) Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA). Results show that there is good agreement among the methods when conditions are ideal. However, limitations inherent to each method inhibited their accurate application to all sites. Collectively, these techniques provide data on a range of morphometric parameters, some of which were not previously available for dunes on Mars. They include dune height, width, length, surface area, volume, and longitudinal and transverse profiles. Thc utilization of these methods will facilitate a more accurate analysis of aeolian dunes on Mars and enable comparison with dunes on other planetary surfaces.

  18. Mars’ Northern Dunes: Volatiles and Geology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, Candice; Bridges, N.; Bourke, M.; Byrne, S.; Diniega, S.; Dundas, C.; Herkenhoff, K.; McEwen, A.; Portyankina, G.; Thomas, N.; Colon, C.

    2010-10-01

    Mars has a vast sea of sand dunes at high northern latitudes known as the north polar erg. These dunes are blanketed with seasonal CO2 frost in the winter and early spring. Sharp dune crests, steep slipfaces and lack of craters suggest that these northern dunes have experienced geologically recent resurfacing. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) imaged a limited number of sites in the dunes with resolution better than 1 m to look for changes. New HiRISE images show extensive erosion of northern hemisphere dunes associated with seasonal CO2 ice sublimation in the spring. With 2 Mars years of observations we have observed the CO2-ice-free state of the dunes in the first year, frost-covered in late winter, the spring sublimation process, and the ice-free state of the dunes again in the second year. Temporal sequences of images of individual sites were acquired to monitor the sublimation process throughout spring. Ice-free images have been compared between northern summer in MRO year 1 (Mars Year 29) and MRO year 2. New alcoves and aprons are detected on numerous dunes in several sites. In one particular barchan dune field 20% of the dunes show substantial changes and 20% show minor changes. These changes can be traced to locations of early enhanced CO2 ice sublimation. The sublimation activity manifests itself on the dunes as cracks along the dune crest from which dark streaks of sand and dust move down the slipface. The sand travels out onto patterned ground, enabling measurement of the extent of the new aprons, in some cases meters from the dune boundary one year earlier. In order to maintain fresh dunes against such erosion the dune-building processes must still be at work on Mars today. This work was partially supported by JPL/CIT/NASA.

  19. Biodiversity impact of the aeolian periglacial geomorphologic evolution of the Fontainebleau Massif (France)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiry, M.; Liron, M. N.

    2009-04-01

    Landscape features The geomorphology of the Fontainebleau Massif is noteworthy for its spectacular narrow ridges, up to 10 km long and 0.5 km wide, armored by tightly cemented sandstone lenses and which overhang sandy depressions of about 50m. Denudation of the sandstone pans lead to a highly contrasted landscape, with sandstone ridges ("platières") towering sandy depressions ("vallées") and limestone plateaus ("monts"). This forms the geological frame of the spectacular sceneries of the Fontainebleau Massif (Thiry & Liron, 2007). Nevertheless, there is little know about the erosive processes that have built-up these landscapes. Periglacial processes, and among them aeolian ones, appear significant in the development of the Fontainebleau Massif physiography. The periglacial aeolian geomorphology Dunes and dune fields are known since long and cover about 15% to 25% of the Fontainebleau Massif. The aeolian dunes developed as well on the higher parts of the landscape, as well as in the lower parts of the landscape. The dunes are especially well developed in the whole eastern part of the massif, whereas the western part of the massif is almost devoid of dunes. Nevertheless, detailed mapping shows that dunes can locally be found in the western district, they are of limited extension, restricted to the east facing backslope of outliers. Loamy-sand covers the limestone plateaus of the "monts". The loam cover is of variable thickness: schematically thicker in the central part of the plateaus, where it my reach 3 m; elsewhere it may thin down to 0,20-0,30 m, especially at the plateau edges. Blowout hollows are "negative" morphologies from where the sand has been withdrawed. Often these blowouts are decametric sized and well-delimited structures. Others, more complex structures, are made up of several elongated hectometric hollows relaying each other from and which outline deflation corridor more than 1 km long. A characteristic feature of these blowout hollows is the

  20. 'Endurance Crater's' Dazzling Dunes (false-color)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    As NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity creeps farther into 'Endurance Crater,' the dune field on the crater floor appears even more dramatic. This false-color image taken by the rover's panoramic camera shows that the dune crests have accumulated more dust than the flanks of the dunes and the flat surfaces between them. Also evident is a 'blue' tint on the flat surfaces as compared to the dune flanks. This results from the presence of the hematite-containing spherules ('blueberries') that accumulate on the flat surfaces.

    Sinuous tendrils of sand less than 1 meter (3.3 feet) high extend from the main dune field toward the rover. Scientists hope to send the rover down to one of these tendrils in an effort to learn more about the characteristics of the dunes. Dunes are a common feature across the surface of Mars, and knowledge gleaned from investigating the Endurance dunes close-up may apply to similar dunes elsewhere.

    Before the rover heads down to the dunes, rover drivers must first establish whether the slippery slope that leads to them is firm enough to ensure a successful drive back out of the crater. Otherwise, such hazards might make the dune field a true sand trap.

  1. The Enigmatic Longevity of Granular Materials on Mars: The Case for Geologically Episodic Dune Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marshall, J.

    1999-01-01

    Martian sand dunes are concentrated in vast sand seas in the circumpolar belt of the planet's northern hemisphere, but they are also pervasive over the whole planet. Their occurrence is to be expected on a super-arid planetary surface subjected to boundary layer drag from a continually active atmosphere. Whilst their occurrence is to be expected, their survival is enigmatic. But the enigma only arises if the martian system is considered similar to Earth's --where sand is moved highly frequently, more or less on a seasonal basis. Experimentally it is readily demonstrated that active sand will soon wear down to small grains and eventually diminish to below the critical sand size required to sustain dune formation. According to conventional wisdom, sand moves at higher speeds on Mars than on Earth, and if it were to move as frequently as it does on Earth, then the dune-forming sand population should have long since disappeared, given the great longevity of the martian aeolian system (Sagan coined the term "kamikaze" grains to express this disappearance). No supply of sand could keep pace with this depletion, especially in light of the fact that Mars does not have very active weathering, nor significant crustal differentiation. On Earth, plate tectonics, magmatic activity, and general crustal differentiation over geological time have produced great concentrations of quartz crystals in the continental crustal masses. Not only are these quartz grains chemically and mechanically resilient, they are about the right size for being transported by either wind or water. Add to this, the geologically recent contribution of glacial grinding, and it is easy to see why there are dune field on Earth. So what are the martian dunes composed of, and how does the material survive the eons of attrition? In addition to experimental demonstrations of sand comminution in laboratory aeolian simulations, the problem can be approached from first principles. Sagan showed that by simple

  2. Winds measured by the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) during Curiosity's Bagnold Dunes Campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newman, Claire E.; Gomez-Elvira, Javier; Navarro Lopez, Sara; Marin Jimenez, Mercedes; Torres Redondo, Josefina; Richardson, Mark I.

    2016-10-01

    Curiosity's damaged wind sensor has trouble measuring winds coming from behind the rover, due to the loss of its side-pointing boom during landing. During the Bagnold Dunes Campaign, however, the rover was turned to permit measurements of winds from missing directions, capturing upslope/downslope day-night flow on the slopes of Aeolis Mons and blocking of wind in the lee of a dune.The rover's heading is generally determined by the drive direction and often varies little over many tens of sols. Good wind measurements are made when the wind comes from the hemisphere to the front of the rover, but there are sometimes long periods during which winds from certain directions (i.e., at certain times of sol) are largely missed. Since rover turns are often precluded by rover safety and other operational constraints, it is usually not possible to turn to measure such winds properly.During the Bagnold Dunes Campaign, wind measurements were prioritized to provide context for aeolian dune studies. Rover headings were optimized for three wind investigations covering a period of about 90 sols. The first investigation characterized the wind field on approach to the dunes, with the rover turned to face two unusual headings for several sols each and monitoring focused on the 'missing' winds / times of sol. This confirmed the expected primary wind pattern of daytime roughly upslope winds (from ~NW/N) and nighttime downslope winds (from ~S/SE) on the slopes of Aeolis Mons, with significant sol-to-sol variability in e.g. the timing of the reversals. Comparison with the previous year suggests an increasingly upslope-downslope pattern as Curiosity approached the slope.The second investigation studied changes to the wind pattern in the lee of the Namib Dune. This revealed the blocking of northerly winds by the large dune, leaving primarily a westerly component to the daytime winds with weaker wind speeds.The third investigation characterized the wind field at the side of Namib Dune. The

  3. Frosty Dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    12 April 2006 Today, the MOC Team celebrates the 45th anniversary of the first human flight into space, that of Yuri Gagarin on 12 April 1961, and the 25th anniversary of the first NASA Space Shuttle flight on 12 April 1981, by briefly pondering the wonders of our Solar System and the opportunities of the age in which we live. Although humans have not ventured to the Moon in more than 30 years, and have not yet gone to Mars, we can all go there through the eyes of our robotic explorers.

    Mars, perhaps the most Earth-like (yet so very different!) planet in our star's system, is tilted on its axis by about 25o-not all that different than Earth's 23.5o. Thus, Mars, like Earth, experiences a changing of seasons as the planet revolves around the Sun. At high latitudes in each hemisphere during autumn and winter, carbon dioxide frost accumulates on the surface.

    This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows dunes covered and delineated by seasonal frost in the north polar region of Mars. The winds responsible for the formation of these dunes blew primarily from the northwest (upper left), with additional influences from the north and northeast. During the late spring and summer seasons, these dunes would look much darker than their surroundings, but in this late winter image, the dunes and the plains on which they occur are all covered with carbon dioxide frost.

    Location near: 78.4oN, 76.7oW Image width: 3 km (1.9 mi) Illumination from: lower left Season: Northern Winter

  4. Numerical modeling of subaqueous sand dune morphodynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doré, Arnaud; Bonneton, Philippe; Marieu, Vincent; Garlan, Thierry

    2016-03-01

    The morphodynamic evolution of subaqueous sand dunes is investigated, using a 2-D Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes numerical model. A laboratory experiment where dunes are generated under stationary unidirectional flow conditions is used as a reference case. The model reproduces the evolution of the erodible bed until a state of equilibrium is reached. In particular, the simulation exhibits the different stages of the bed evolution, e.g., the incipient ripple generation, the nonlinear bed form growing phase, and the dune field equilibrium phase. The results show good agreement in terms of dune geometrical dimensions and time to equilibrium. After the emergence of the first ripple field, the bed growth is driven by cascading merging sequences between bed forms of different heights. A sequence extracted from the simulation shows how the downstream bed form is first eroded before merging with the upstream bed form. Superimposed bed forms emerge on the dune stoss sides during the simulation. An analysis of the results shows that they emerge downstream of a slight deflection on the dune profile. The deflection arises due to a modification of the sediment flux gradient consecutive to a reduction in the turbulence relaxation length while the upstream bed form height decreases. As they migrate, superimposed bed forms grow on the dune stoss side and eventually provoke the degeneration of the dune crest. Cascading merging sequences and superimposed bed forms dynamics both influence the dune field evolution and size and therefore play a fundamental role in the dune field self-organization process.

  5. Springtime Dunes, 2004

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    12 April 2004 Today is April 12, 2004, the 43rd anniversary of the first human flight into space (Yuri Gagarin, 1961) and the 23rd anniversary of the first NASA Space Shuttle flight (Columbia, 1981). Meanwhile, on Mars, spring is in full swing in the martian northern hemisphere. With spring comes the annual defrosting of the north polar dunes. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image, acquired on April 7, 2004, shows a field of small barchan (crescent-shaped) dunes covered with the remains of wintertime frost. The dark spots around the base of each dune mark the first signs of the spring thaw. The sand in these dunes is dark, like the black sand beaches of Hawaii or the dark, sandy soil of the rover, Opportunity, landing site, but in winter and spring their dark tone is obscured by bright carbon dioxide frost. This picture is located near 75.9oN, 45.3oW, and covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

  6. Pseudo-feathery dunes in the Kumtagh desert reclassified as linear dunes and zibars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zhen-Ting; Sun, Qing-Feng; Ren, Xiao-Zong; Wang, Tao; Chen, Fa-Hu

    Dunes with apparent feathery patterns are common in the harsh and inaccessible Kumtagh desert in China. A recent paper by Dong et al. [Dong, Z., Qu, J., Wang, X., Qian, G., Luo, W., Wei, Z., 2008. Pseudo-feathery dunes in the Kumtagh desert. Geomorphology 100, 328-334] argued that the dunes are pseudo-feathery dunes with the different forms (linear versus marginal feather vanes) being related to grain composition differences. Field studies in the region and sedimentological analyses revealed that the dune 'feathers' are created by dunes of different heights, rather than by differences in material composition. The dunes are, in fact, linear dunes and zibars corresponding with the rachises and vanes, respectively, and appearing as feathery patterns in aerial photographs and satellite images.

  7. Effect of land-use on sediment fluxes, dune mobilization, and soil nutrient loss in the southern Kalahari

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattachan, A.; D'Odorico, P.; Okin, G. S.; Dintwe, K.

    2011-12-01

    The Kalahari, one of the largest drylands in the Southern Hemisphere, is currently covered by savanna and rangeland vegetation. The most arid areas, however, exhibit signs of vegetation loss, which results in the mobilization of ancient dunes. It has been suggested that aridification of the region, in concert with land use, will result in further dune remobilization, with important social and environmental consequences. The impact of vegetation loss on sediment transport and dust emissions in the Kalahari remains poorly quantified. It is unclear to what extent this enhanced aeolian activity may in the long run affect the soil properties and cause the loss of nutrient-rich soil particles. We report the results of field measurements with dust samplers installed on the crests of vegetated dunes in well-managed farms, and on bare dunes in overgrazed communal land. We then compare the mean horizontal sediment flux, calculate the vertical sediment flux , and determine the rate of soil nutrient loss associated with dust emissions at sites with different vegetation cover.

  8. Dunes on Titan observed by Cassini Radar

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Radebaugh, J.; Lorenz, R.D.; Lunine, J.I.; Wall, S.D.; Boubin, G.; Reffet, E.; Kirk, R.L.; Lopes, R.M.; Stofan, E.R.; Soderblom, L.; Allison, M.; Janssen, M.; Paillou, P.; Callahan, P.; Spencer, C.; ,

    2008-01-01

    Thousands of longitudinal dunes have recently been discovered by the Titan Radar Mapper on the surface of Titan. These are found mainly within ??30?? of the equator in optically-, near-infrared-, and radar-dark regions, indicating a strong proportion of organics, and cover well over 5% of Titan's surface. Their longitudinal duneform, interactions with topography, and correlation with other aeolian forms indicate a single, dominant wind direction aligned with the dune axis plus lesser, off-axis or seasonally alternating winds. Global compilations of dune orientations reveal the mean wind direction is dominantly eastwards, with regional and local variations where winds are diverted around topographically high features, such as mountain blocks or broad landforms. Global winds may carry sediments from high latitude regions to equatorial regions, where relatively drier conditions prevail, and the particles are reworked into dunes, perhaps on timescales of thousands to tens of thousands of years. On Titan, adequate sediment supply, sufficient wind, and the absence of sediment carriage and trapping by fluids are the dominant factors in the presence of dunes. ?? 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Aeolian sand ripples around plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Qian-Hua; Miao, Tian-De

    2003-05-01

    Plants in the desert may locally change the aeolian process, and hence the pattern of sand ripples traveling nearby. The effect of plants on ripples is investigated using a coupled map lattice model with nonuniform coupling coefficients.

  10. Development of cliff-top dunes in the Hengchun Peninsula of the southern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ho, Lih-Der; Wong, Yi-Chia; Lüthgens, Christopher; Chyi, Shyhjeng; Yen, Jiun-Yee

    2016-04-01

    Fung-Chuei-Sha cliff-top dune is located on a 60-meter-high cliff surface in the Hengchun Peninsula of Taiwan. It is still unclear that the history of the aeolian sediment deposition on the top of the cliff, and what factors may influence the evolution of the cliff-top dune. This study aims to investigate the evolutionary history of the Fung-Chuei-Sha cliff-top dune by analyzing the grain size, CaCO3 concentration and absolute dates of the dune sediment, and the land snail species found in the deposit.The results show three phases of aeolian sand accumulation in the Fung-Chuei-Sha cliff-top dune. 1. Phase I: aeolian sediment may accumulate in the bottom of the cliff between 2800 yr BP and 2100 yr BP. 2. Phase II: the cliff-top dune accumulated a 3.1-meter-thick sediment layer from 1500 yr BP to 1300 yr BP. In this phase, dune sediment deposited in a rate of 1.55 cm/yr. The paleoclimate proxy data from the nearby area indicate that the environment was cool and dry, and the Asian winter monsoon was strong during 1500-1300 yr BP. It blew the old coastal dune deposit at the bottom of the cliff up to the cliff top, and induced the C14 age reverse phenomenon. The aeolian deposition began to stabilize because of the wetter environment in the end of the Phase II. At the same time, the stable dune formed the silt and clay layer on the surface of the dune. A layer cemented by CaCO3 may indicate the position of the palaeo-groundwater table. 3. Phase III: the phase stared from 1500-1300 yr BP to the present. A 2.4-meter-thick eolian deposit was accumulated in a rate of 0.18 cm/yr during this phase. Four kinds of land snail shells, Cyclophorus formosensis, Hemiphaedusa similaris, Platyrhaphe swinhoei, Odontartemon heudei, which prefer to live in a relatively humid environment, were commonly observed in the dune deposit, indicating the environment was wet and consequently caused a slower aeolian deposition rate at this phase. Between 1000 yr BP and 500 yr BP, there was a

  11. Sand Furrows: A new surface feature on martian dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourke, Mary

    2013-04-01

    Planetary geomorphology is at the forefront of today's Geoscience endeavours. A characteristic of frontier science is the discovery of new landforms and processes. Sand furrows are a new geomorphic feature that has not been previously described. They are ubiquitous and occur on 95% of polar dune images. Furrows are shallow and narrow erosion forms which can extend up to 300 m along a dune surface. Patterns are reminiscent of fluid flow, perhaps even fluvial flow (e.g., sinuosity, braiding and anastomosing) and are often slope-normal. However, furrows also display attributes that defy gravity (e.g., upslope trending flow paths) and they are not associated with terminal deposits. This suggests that the formative fluid is likely to be a pressurised gas. Cryo-venting has been proposed to explain the formation of dark spots and fans in the seasonal ice cap. It has also been linked to the formation of araniform. Here it is proposed to be the process by which aeolian sediment is eroded to form sand furrows. During the Martian spring, basal sublimation of the seasonal CO2 ice cap occurs on dune surfaces. Weaknesses in the ice allow pressurised gas and some dune sediment to be transported through vents to the surface. Furrows are eroded along the gas flow paths as it moves towards the vent. Cryo-venting is therefore identified as a new style of sediment transport on aeolian dunes in our solar system, and one that is, so far, unique to Mars. An estimate of the sand volume eroded from a sample dune during one Mars' spring is geomorphologically significant and is equivalent to that of a small dome dune on Mars (500m^3). The deposits are diffuse and extend into the interdune as well as back onto the source dune. The geomorphic efficacy of cryo-venting as a mechanism of aeolian dune erosion is dependent on the magnitude and frequency of venting, the location of vents and the scale of the source dune. Small dunes may undergo accelerated erosion rates as the ability to intersect

  12. Proctor Crater Dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    This image, located near 30E and 47.5S, displays sand dunes within Proctor Crater. These dunes are composed of basaltic sand that has collected in the bottom of the crater. The topographic depression of the crater forms a sand trap that prevents the sand from escaping. Dune fields are common in the bottoms of craters on Mars and appear as dark splotches that lean up against the downwind walls of the craters. Dunes are useful for studying both the geology and meteorology of Mars. The sand forms by erosion of larger rocks, but it is unclear when and where this erosion took place on Mars or how such large volumes of sand could be formed. The dunes also indicate the local wind directions by their morphology. In this case, there are few clear slipfaces that would indicate the downwind direction. The crests of the dunes also typically run north-south in the image. This dune form indicates that there are probably two prevailing wind directions that run east and west (left to right and right to left).

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project

  13. Quantifying the effects of European beach grass on aeolian sand transport over the last century: Bodega Marine Reserve, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cesmat, R.; Werner, S.; Smith, M. E.; Riedel, T.; Best, R.; Olyarnik, S.

    2012-12-01

    Introduction of European beach grass (Ammophila arenaria) to coastal dune systems of western North America induced significant changes to the transport and storage of sediment, and consequently the nesting habitat of the western snowy plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus). At the Bodega Marine Reserve and Sonoma Coast State Park, Ammophila was introduced within the ~0.5 km2 dune area in the 1920's to limit the flux of sand through Bodega Harbor and agricultural land. To assess the potential impact of restoration efforts (Ammophila removal) on aeolian sediment flux, we measured sediment flux as a function of wind speeds and ground cover, and used these measurements to parameterize a spatial model for historical sand deposition Fine- to coarse-grained lithic to sub-lithic sand is delivered to the Bodega dune system from Salmon Creek beach, the down-shore terminus of a littoral system fed by the 3846 km2 Russian River catchment, several small (<100 km2) coastal catchments, and seacliff erosion. Littoral sediment traverses the 1.8 km wide dune system from NW to SE via aeolian transport. Ammophila colonization occurred initially adjacent to the shoreface, inducing deposition of a ~10 meter-high foredune and has subsequently encroached the ~0.5 km2 region between the foredune and Bodega Harbor. Comparison of historical topographic maps via raster subtraction indicates rapid construction of both the foredune and a ~15 meter-high transverse dune (Gaffney ridge) at the edge of the planted region. An average accumulation rate of ~4,000 m3/yr is indicated within the study swath by the preserved sediment volumes. Within the modern dune system, unvegetated areas exhibit 2-3 meter wavelength, ~1/2 meter amplitude mega-ripples, and the uppermost 2-10 cm consists of coarse-sand to granule-sized armor layer. In contrast, grain-sizes in vegetated areas are largely vertically homogenous. Open areas are typically 2-8 meters lower than adjacent vegetated areas, and show evidence for

  14. Late Quaternary environmental changes in the Taklamakan Desert, western China, inferred from OSL-dated lacustrine and aeolian deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Xiaoping; Preusser, Frank; Radtke, Ulrich

    2006-05-01

    Sediment records from the Tarim Basin of western China are of great importance for understanding Late Quaternary climatic variability in Central Asia. A chronology of aeolian and lacustrine deposits from the centre and southern margin of the Taklamakan Desert, central Tarim Basin, has been established using optical dating methods. Distinct variations in humidity during the last 40,000 a in this extremely arid inland basin have been identified. Lacustrine sediments were deposited in the centre of the Taklamakan during two periods of wetter than present day conditions at around 2000 and 30,000 a ago. Another humid period is recorded between 40,000 and 30,000 a ago. Aeolian processes, the development of large migrating dune fields dominated during periods of more arid conditions. Sand wedges at the southern margin of the Taklamakan are dated at ca 40,000 a and ca 18,000 a, and imply a significant temperature decrease in that area. Sedimentological evidence for a late Holocene humid period are consistent with records in ancient Chinese literature. Wetter environmental conditions in the past within the Taklamakan, as indicated by the presence of lacustrine deposits, are also supported by data from adjacent regions. It is assumed that changes of global westerlies and of the mobile polar high triggered the fluctuations of precipitation in the study area. However, variations in temperature in the Taklamakan Desert are presumed to be mainly controlled by the intensity of the winter monsoon.

  15. 10 years of aeolian geomorphology at the EGU: past achievements and future challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baas, Andreas C. W.; Wiggs, Giles F. S.; Claudin, Philippe

    2016-04-01

    On this tenth anniversary of the Aeolian Processes & Landforms session at the EGU the original conveners review and reflect on the recent achievements and expansion in aeolian geomorphological research, focussing on advances in our understanding of sand transport processes, dune development and dynamics, and the mechanisms and scalings involved. This talk will highlight the variety and impact of the dramatic increase in the extent and interest of research on aeolian processes and landforms in the last ten years, including the increasingly strong community presence at international meetings, the diversity and extent of collaborations across subject boundaries, and the application of new measurement technologies and mathematical approaches. We conclude with a forward-looking prospectus of exciting future challenges and open research questions.

  16. ASTER Dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This image of Saudi Arabia shows a great sea of linear dunes in part of the Rub' al Khali, or the Empty Quarter. Acquired on June 25, 2000, the image covers an area 37 kilometers (23 miles) wide and 28 kilometers (17 miles) long in three bands of the reflected visible and infrared wavelength region. The dunes are yellow due to the presence of iron oxide minerals. The inter-dune area is made up of clays and silt and appears blue due to its high reflectance in band 1. The Rub' al Khali is the world's largest continuous sand desert. It covers about 650,000 square kilometers (250,966 square miles) and lies mainly in southern Saudi Arabia, though it does extend into the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Yemen. One of the world's driest areas, it is uninhabited except for the Bedouin nomads who cross it. The first European to travel through the desert was Bertram Thomas in 1930.

    Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched December 18, 1999, on NASA's Terra satellite. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and the data products. Dr. Anne Kahle at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, is the U.S. science team leader; Moshe Pniel of JPL is the project manager. ASTER is the only high-resolution imaging sensor on Terra. The primary goal of the ASTER mission is to obtain high-resolution image data in 14 channels over the entire land surface, as well as black and white stereo images. With revisit time of between 4 and 16 days, ASTER will provide the capability for repeat coverage of changing areas on Earth's surface.

    The broad spectral coverage and high spectral resolution of ASTER will provide scientists in numerous disciplines with critical information for surface mapping and monitoring dynamic conditions and temporal change. Examples

  17. Holocene aeolian sediments on the NE Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stauch, G.; Lehmkuhl, F.; Hilgers, A.; Zhao, H.

    2012-04-01

    The semiarid climate of the northeastern Tibetan Plateau supports the formation of different types of aeolian sediments and landforms during the Holocene. Aeolians silts and sands in the catchment of the Donggi Cona in an elevation above 4000m to 4800 m asl reflect variable climate conditions during that time as well as different sediment sources. Based on 51 OSL datings and catchment wide geomorphological mapping a complex pattern of long and short distance sediment transport has been reconstructed. Only few aeolian archives are preserved from the late Pleistocene in this mountain environment indicating cold and dry climate conditions which prevented a continuous accumulation. During the early Holocene a phase of increased aeolian sedimentation of sand at the slopes of the mountains has been reconstructed. The sand originated from a large alluvial fan which was highly active during the Pleistocene. In addition, a thin loess cover is preserved at a few sites in the neighboring mountains ranges. The sedimentation of the loess started around 2000 years later than the sedimentation of the sand at the foot slope. Both archives are related to an increase in precipitation at the northern margin of the Tibetan Plateau which was related to a strengthening of the Asian Monsoon during that time. The wetter climate conditions favored the development of a vegetation cover which leads to the trapping and fixation of the aeolian sediments. However, with a further strengthening of the Monsoon systems these archives subsequently eroded due to higher run off and accumulated as colluvial and fluvial deposits in the basins. These phase lasted until 6 ka. A second aeolian period started at around 3 ka with the formation new dunes in the basins. This period can be associated with dry and cold climate of the late Holocene supporting the reactivation of the sand in the area. This might be further enhanced by an increased human impact by grazing during the late Holocene and resulting

  18. Aeolian Coastal Landscapes in changes (a study from Tahkuna, Estonia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, A.

    2012-04-01

    The openness of the coast to the winds and storm waves has an important part in changing aeolian coastal landscapes as well as anthropogenic factor. The aeolian coastal landscapes are probably the most dynamic areas. Occurrence of aeolian coastal landscapes in Estonia is limited. They consist of sandy beaches, sandy beach ridges and dunes. The coastal ecosystems are strongly affected by their topography, based on the character of deposits and moisture conditions. The majority of their ecosystems are quite close to the specific natural habitat. These ecosystems are represented in the list of the European Union Habitats (Natura 2000). In recent decades human influence has changed the landscape over time in different activities (recreation, trampling, off-road driving) and their intensities, which has led to destruction or degradation of various habitats. Previously coastal landscapes were used for forestry and pasture. Nowadays one of the most serious threats to open landscape is afforestation. This study examines the relationships between landscape components during last decades. Trying to find out how much aeolian coastal landscapes are influenced by natural processes or human activities. The results are based on cartographic analysis, fieldwork data. The method of landscape complex profile was used. The profiles show a cross-sections of landforms and interrelationships between landscape components, most frequently describing the relations between soils and vegetation. In each sample point the mechanical composition of sediments, vegetation cover and soil is determined. Results show that changes in landscapes are induced by their own development as well as changes in environmental factors and human activities. Larger changes are due to increase of coastal processes activity. These processes can be observed in sandy beaches, which are easily transformed by waves. Higher sea levels during storm surges are reaching older beach formation, causing erosion and creating

  19. Discrimination of active and inactive sand from remote sensing - Kelso dunes, Mojave Desert, California

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paisley, Elizabeth C. I.; Lancaster, Nicholas; Gaddis, Lisa R.; Greeley, Ronald

    1991-01-01

    Landsat TM images, field data, and laboratoray reflectance spectra were examined for the Kelso dunes, Mojave Desert, California to assess the use of visible and near-infrared (VNIR) remote sensing data to discriminate aeolian sand populations on the basis of spectral brightness. Results show that areas of inactive sand have a larger percentage of dark, fine-grained materials compared to those composed of active sand, which contain less dark fines and a higher percentage of quartz sand-size grains. Both areas are spectrally distinct in the VNIR, suggesting that VNIR spectral data can be used to discriminate active and inactive sand populations in the Mojave Desert. Analysis of laboratory spectra was complicated by the presence of magnetite in the active sands, which decreases their laboratory reflectance values to those of inactive sands. For this application, comparison of TM and laboratory spectra suggests that less than 35 percent vegetation cover does not influence the TM spectra.

  20. Vegetation controls on the maximum size of coastal dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durán, Orencio; Moore, Laura J.

    2013-10-01

    Coastal dunes, in particular foredunes, support a resilient ecosystem and reduce coastal vulnerability to storms. In contrast to dry desert dunes, coastal dunes arise from interactions between biological and physical processes. Ecologists have traditionally addressed coastal ecosystems by assuming that they adapt to preexisting dune topography, whereas geomorphologists have studied the properties of foredunes primarily in connection to physical, not biological, factors. Here, we study foredune development using an ecomorphodynamic model that resolves the coevolution of topography and vegetation in response to both physical and ecological factors. We find that foredune growth is eventually limited by a negative feedback between wind flow and topography. As a consequence, steady-state foredunes are scale invariant, which allows us to derive scaling relations for maximum foredune height and formation time. These relations suggest that plant zonation (in particular for strand "dune-building" species) is the primary factor controlling the maximum size of foredunes and therefore the amount of sand stored in a coastal dune system. We also find that aeolian sand supply to the dunes determines the timescale of foredune formation. These results offer a potential explanation for the empirical relation between beach type and foredune size, in which large (small) foredunes are found on dissipative (reflective) beaches. Higher waves associated with dissipative beaches increase the disturbance of strand species, which shifts foredune formation landward and thus leads to larger foredunes. In this scenario, plants play a much more active role in modifying their habitat and altering coastal vulnerability than previously thought.

  1. Vegetation controls on the maximum size of coastal dunes.

    PubMed

    Durán, Orencio; Moore, Laura J

    2013-10-22

    Coastal dunes, in particular foredunes, support a resilient ecosystem and reduce coastal vulnerability to storms. In contrast to dry desert dunes, coastal dunes arise from interactions between biological and physical processes. Ecologists have traditionally addressed coastal ecosystems by assuming that they adapt to preexisting dune topography, whereas geomorphologists have studied the properties of foredunes primarily in connection to physical, not biological, factors. Here, we study foredune development using an ecomorphodynamic model that resolves the coevolution of topography and vegetation in response to both physical and ecological factors. We find that foredune growth is eventually limited by a negative feedback between wind flow and topography. As a consequence, steady-state foredunes are scale invariant, which allows us to derive scaling relations for maximum foredune height and formation time. These relations suggest that plant zonation (in particular for strand "dune-building" species) is the primary factor controlling the maximum size of foredunes and therefore the amount of sand stored in a coastal dune system. We also find that aeolian sand supply to the dunes determines the timescale of foredune formation. These results offer a potential explanation for the empirical relation between beach type and foredune size, in which large (small) foredunes are found on dissipative (reflective) beaches. Higher waves associated with dissipative beaches increase the disturbance of strand species, which shifts foredune formation landward and thus leads to larger foredunes. In this scenario, plants play a much more active role in modifying their habitat and altering coastal vulnerability than previously thought. PMID:24101481

  2. Vegetation controls on the maximum size of coastal dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duran Vinent, Orencio; Moore, Laura J.

    2014-05-01

    Coastal dunes, in particular foredunes, support a resilient ecosystem and reduce coastal vulnerability to storms. In contrast to dry desert dunes, coastal dunes arise from interactions between biological and physical processes. Ecologists have traditionally addressed coastal ecosystems by assuming that they adapt to preexisting dune topography, whereas geomorphologists have studied the properties of foredunes primarily in connection to physical, not biological, factors. Here, we study foredune development using an ecomorphodynamic model that resolves the co-evolution of topography and vegetation in response to both physical and ecological factors. We find that foredune growth is eventually limited by a negative feedback between wind flow and topography. As a consequence, steady state foredunes are scale invariant, which allows us to derive scaling relations for maximum foredune height and formation time. These relations suggest that plant zonation (in particular for strand `dune-building' species) is the primary factor controlling the maximum size of foredunes and therefore the amount of sand stored in a coastal dune system. We also find that aeolian sand supply to the dunes determines the time scale of foredune formation. These results offer a potential explanation for the empirical relation between beach type and foredune size, in which large (small) foredunes are found on dissipative (reflective) beaches: higher waves associated with dissipative beaches increase the disturbance of strand species which shifts foredune formation landwards and thus leads to larger foredunes.

  3. Secondary Airflow Structure around Clustered Shrubs and Its Significance for Vegetated Dune Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Wanyin; Dong, Zhibao; Qian, Guangqiang; Lu, Junfeng

    2016-04-01

    Shrubs have an important significance in aeolian processes due to their disturbance of the local airflow. In the formation of vegetated dunes, there is an iterative interaction between shrub geometry, the structure of the secondary airflow, and the interaction between neighboring shrubs. Understanding the dynamics of vegetated dunes thus requires an insight into the airflow fields around shrubs. Based on aerodynamic and aeolian sand physics theory, this project measured the complex secondary flow field and aeolian sand deposition pattern around single and cluster shrubs with varied densities (i.e., 0.05, 0.08, 0.15, 0.20) and gap ratios (the ratio of the gap spacing between the shrub models to the center-to-center distance for the shrub models, ranged from 1.1 to 1.8 with side-by-side arrangement and 1.2 to 4.3 with tandem arrangement) using the particle image velocimetry system through wind tunnle simulation. The relationship between the secondary airflow structure and the shrub's porosity and arrangement was analyzed quantitatively. Research results revealed that porosity (density) is the key parameter to affect the flow patterns around single shrub. Compared to solid obstacles, bleed flow through the shrubs has great influence on the secondary airflow patterns around itself. Under cluster modes, the distance between two adjacent shrubs has great influence on flow field structures around them. The flow patterns around two side-by-side arranged shrubs can be classified into three kinds of modes, that is: single-bluff-body, biased flow pattern and parallel vortex streets. The flow patterns around two tandem arranged shrubs can be classified into three regimes, that is: the extended body regime, reattachment regime and co-shedding regime. The "shadow zone" with low velocity in the lee of shrubs is the optimal position for sand deposition, but its form, size and orientation would varied with the shrub porosity and gap ratio between them. With the increase of the gap

  4. Tracking aeolian transport patterns across a mega-nourishment using video imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wijnberg, Kathelijne; van der Weerd, Lianne; Hulscher, Suzanne

    2014-05-01

    Coastal dune areas protect the hinterland from flooding. In order to maintain the safety level provided by the dunes, it may be necessary to artificially supply the beach-dune system with sand. How to best design these shore nourishments, amongst others with respect to optimal dune growth on the long-term (decadal scale), is not yet clear. One reason for this is that current models for aeolian transport on beaches appear to have limited predictive capabilities regarding annual onshore sediment supply. These limited capabilities may be attributed to the lack of appropriate input data, for instance on moisture content of the beach surface, or shortcomings in process understanding. However, it may also be argued that for the long-term prediction of onshore aeolian sand supply from the beach to the dunes, we may need to develop some aggregated-scale transport equations, because the detailed input data required for the application of process-scale transport equations may never be available in reality. A first step towards the development of such new concepts for aggregated-scale transport equations is to increase phenomenological insight into the characteristics and number of aeolian transport events that account for the annual volume changes of the foredunes. This requires high-frequency, long-term data sets to capture the only intermittently occurring aeolian transport events. Automated video image collection seems a promising way to collect such data. In the present study we describe the movement (direction and speed) of sand patches and aeolian bed forms across a nourished site, using video imagery, to characterize aeolian transport pathways and their variability in time. The study site is a mega-nourishment (21 Mm3 of sand) that was recently constructed at the Dutch coast. This mega-nourishment, also referred to as the Sand Motor, is a pilot project that may potentially replace current practice of more frequently applying small scale nourishments. The mega

  5. Rapid Anthropogenic Response to Short-Term Local Aeolian and Fluvial Palaeoenvironmental Changes during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene Transition (at the Edge of the Northwestern Negev Dunefield, Israel)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roskin, Joel; Barzilai, Omry; Goring-Morris, Nigel; Katra, Itzhak; Porat, Naomi; Agha, Nuha; Boaretto, Elisabetta

    2013-04-01

    Several prehistoric camp sites, mainly attributed to the Natufian culture, were excavated over the past decades along Nahal Sekher on the eastern edge of Israel's northwestern Negev Desert dunefield. In this research we reconstruct the aeolian and fluvial environs of these sites by integrating field mapping, stratigraphic sections, particle-size analysis, sand spectroscopy, optically stimulated luminescence ages, and radiocarbon dates. Intermittent surface stabilization and aeolian deflation are hypothesized to explain the appearance of the Natufians who probably inhabited the region during the last main Negev dune encroachment in a windy palaeoenvironment. It is argued that the residual sequences of diagnostic low-energy fluvial fine-grained deposits (LFFDs) documented around the Natufian sites resemble the ephemeral event-layers of hyper-concentrated flow into the ever-emptying dryland-type reservoirs formed by dunes that dammed wadis. The location of the Natufian sites along the shorelines of these water bodies point to rapid but temporary anthropogenic responses to short-term and improved local palaeoenvironmental conditions during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene transition.

  6. Dune ages in the sand deserts of the southern Sahara and Sahel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bristow, Charlie; Armitage, Simon

    2015-04-01

    In this paper we aim to document the history of aeolian processes within the southern Sahara as part of the INQUA Dune Atlas. We review available luminescence ages for sand dunes across the southern Sahara and attempt to correlate periods of sand accumulation and to develop an improved understanding of the dune chronology on a regional basis. This was achieved by analysing dune age by country, as well as by latitude and longitude. The results show a very patchy spatial distribution of dune ages with large gaps that encompass some of the largest sand seas. Despite these gaps, some related patterns in dune morphology and stratigraphy appear to be consistent between northern Nigeria and southern Mali where older linear dunes are distinct from younger Late Holocene transverse and barchanoid dunes. Elsewhere in Mauretania linear dunes with different orientations appear to have accumulated at different times, most likely in response to changes in atmospheric circulation. Regional climatic changes are identified where dunes are transgressed by lake deposits within endorehic basins. We identify four locations where dune accumulation is terminated by lacustrine transgressions, two of which, in Lake Chad and the Bodélé Depression, occur shortly after the last glacial maximum (LGM). The third example at Gobiero in Niger occurred later, in the early Holocene, around 8.4 ka and a fourth marks a later transgression of Palaeolake MegaChad after 4.7 ka. Larger-scale latitudinal and longitudinal distributions in dune ages across the southern Sahara do not show any consistent patterns, though this may due to the small sample size relative to the study area. In addition, local variations in external controls such as wind regime, rainfall, vegetation and sand supply need to be considered, sometimes on a site by site basis. Limiting the analysis to dune ages determined using the single-aliquot regenerative-dose (SAR) protocol indicates a lack of dune preservation during the LGM and

  7. Transient Electromagnetic Soundings Near Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, San Luis Valley, Colorado (2006 Field Season)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fitterman, David V.; de Sozua Filho, Oderson A.

    2009-01-01

    Time-domain electromagnetic (TEM) soundings were made near Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado to obtain subsurface information of use to hydrologic modeling. Seventeen soundings were made to the east and north of the sand dunes. Using a small loop TEM system, maximum exploration depths of about 75 to 150 m were obtained. In general, layered earth interpretations of the data found that resistivity decreases with depth. Comparison of soundings with geologic logs from nearby wells found that zones logged as having increased clay content usually corresponded with a significant resistivity decrease in the TEM determined model. This result supports the use of TEM soundings to map the location of the top of the clay unit deposited at the bottom of the ancient Lake Alamosa that filled the San Luis Valley from Pliocene to middle Pleistocene time.

  8. Predicting the migration rates of subaqueous dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohrig, David; Smith, J. Dungan

    1996-10-01

    In this paper we develop a simple, physically based method for predicting what fraction of sediment moving over the crests of dunes will bypass their lee faces. The bypass fraction is found by calculating a characteristic excursion length for every grain size making up a particular train of dunes. All particles with excursion lengths greater than the downstream span of the lee face of the average dune are assumed not to contribute to dune propagation. Bypass fractions based on distributions of excursion lengths account for the discrepancies between total sediment discharge and dune migration rate measured by Stein [1965] and Guy et al. [1966] in laboratory flumes, as well as by us in the North Loup River of Nebraska. Calculations and these data agree over sediment-transporting conditions associated with the entire stability field for dunes composed of medium sand. The two laboratory studies show that commonly 30-60% of all sand moving over fully developed dunes is not deposited on slip faces. Measurements from the North Loup River reveal that of all sediment moving over the dune crests there, roughly 45% is not being captured on lee faces even though 99% of sediment is transported within 2 cm of the bed. The method developed herein successfully estimates measured values for the bypass fraction from 0 to 80%. Our analysis indicates that the division between grains that are deposited versus those that are bypassing falls within the range of sand sizes making up the suspended load at dune crests.

  9. Current kinematics of the Aeolian Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anzidei, Marco; Bonforte, Alessandro; Bruno, Valentina; Esposito, Alessandra; Mattia, Mario; Pietrantonio, Grazia; Pisani, Anna Rita; Puglisi, Giuseppe; Sepe, Vincenzo

    2014-05-01

    The active volcanic arc of the Aeolian islands is located between the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea back arc basin (Marsili basin) and the Calabrian Arc, an orogenic belt affected by a Late Quaternary extensional tectonics and uplift. This region is undergoing to shallow and deep seismicity up to 550 km and active volcanism due to the subduction extensional strain and heat flow related to the slab detachment beneath the Calabrian Arc. In this geodynamic framework, the current crustal deformations detected at the ground surface by continuous and episodic GPS data collected in the archipelago and its surroundings in the time span 1996-2012, reflect both the behavior of the single volcanic islands and the regional tectonics of this complex region. Particularly, we focus on the current vertical component of land motion that indicate a diffuse subsidence that is in contrast with uplifting Quaternary geological data. GPS data show that subsiding is increasing toward north between Vulcano and Lipari Islands, but with episodic uplift at Panarea. Particularly, Lipari is rapidly subsiding at mean velocities exceeding 10 mm/yr, which the highest value among the Aeolian island. Instrumental data are in agreement with independent observations that for Lipari Marina Corta indicate a continuous subsidence with rates at at about 8 mm/yr since the last 2200 years B.P., while in Basiluzzo at about 2 mm/yr. Here we show and discuss the current geodetic strain and velocity field for the time span 1996-2012 for the Aeolian archipelago, as well as the GPS data archive. Finally, for Lipari island, the continuous land subsidence will cause a wide submersion of coastal installations by the year 2100 and represent a significant hazard within an urbanized coastal area.

  10. Sedimentary structure of large sand dunes: examples from Dumont and Eureka dunes, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vriend, N. M.; Hunt, M. L.; Clayton, R. W.

    2012-08-01

    The current research presents ground penetrating radar images up to 30 m in depth of two large desert dunes in California, USA— a barchanoid ridge in the Dumont field and a linear dune in the Eureka expanse. The radar images show a complicated structure of internal layering with ascending cross-strata, cross-bedding and bounding surfaces cutting through layers. Additional research using seismic refraction surveys and sand sampling refine the image of the subsurface (<5 m) structure. The sedimentary structure of the dune shows a strong internal layering with a cemented structure that may immobilize and influence migration of dune expanses. The subsurface features of the sand dune fields in the Mojave Desert provide evidence of dune building, wind regime and precipitation history.

  11. Mars global digital dune database and initial science results

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hayward, R.K.; Mullins, K.F.; Fenton, L.K.; Hare, T.M.; Titus, T.N.; Bourke, M.C.; Colaprete, A.; Christensen, P.R.

    2007-01-01

    A new Mars Global Digital Dune Database (MGD3) constructed using Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) infrared (IR) images provides a comprehensive and quantitative view of the geographic distribution of moderate- to large-size dune fields (area >1 kM2) that will help researchers to understand global climatic and sedimentary processes that have shaped the surface of Mars. MGD3 extends from 65??N to 65??S latitude and includes ???550 dune fields, covering ???70,000 km2, with an estimated total volume of ???3,600 km3. This area, when combined with polar dune estimates, suggests moderate- to large-size dune field coverage on Mars may total ???800,000 km2, ???6 times less than the total areal estimate of ???5,000,000 km2 for terrestrial dunes. Where availability and quality of THEMIS visible (VIS) or Mars Orbiter Camera. narrow-angle (MOC NA) images allow, we classify dunes and include dune slipface measurements, which are derived from gross dune morphology and represent the prevailing wind direction at the last time of significant dune modification. For dunes located within craters, the azimuth from crater centroid to dune field centroid (referred to as dune centroid azimuth) is calculated and can provide an accurate method for tracking dune migration within smooth-floored craters. These indicators of wind direction are compared to output from a general circulation model (GCM). Dune centroid azimuth values generally correlate to regional wind patterns. Slipface orientations are less well correlated, suggesting that local topographic effects may play a larger role in dune orientation than regional winds. Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.

  12. Mars Global Digital Dune Database and initial science results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayward, Rosalyn K.; Mullins, Kevin F.; Fenton, Lori K.; Hare, Trent M.; Titus, Timothy N.; Bourke, Mary C.; Colaprete, Anthony; Christensen, Philip R.

    2007-11-01

    A new Mars Global Digital Dune Database (MGD3) constructed using Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) infrared (IR) images provides a comprehensive and quantitative view of the geographic distribution of moderate- to large-size dune fields (area >1 km2) that will help researchers to understand global climatic and sedimentary processes that have shaped the surface of Mars. MGD3 extends from 65°N to 65°S latitude and includes ~550 dune fields, covering ~70,000 km2, with an estimated total volume of ~3,600 km3. This area, when combined with polar dune estimates, suggests moderate- to large-size dune field coverage on Mars may total ~800,000 km2, ~6 times less than the total areal estimate of ~5,000,000 km2 for terrestrial dunes. Where availability and quality of THEMIS visible (VIS) or Mars Orbiter Camera narrow-angle (MOC NA) images allow, we classify dunes and include dune slipface measurements, which are derived from gross dune morphology and represent the prevailing wind direction at the last time of significant dune modification. For dunes located within craters, the azimuth from crater centroid to dune field centroid (referred to as dune centroid azimuth) is calculated and can provide an accurate method for tracking dune migration within smooth-floored craters. These indicators of wind direction are compared to output from a general circulation model (GCM). Dune centroid azimuth values generally correlate to regional wind patterns. Slipface orientations are less well correlated, suggesting that local topographic effects may play a larger role in dune orientation than regional winds.

  13. Braidplain, floodplain and playa lake, alluvial-fan, aeolian and palaeosol facies composing a diversified lithogenetical sequence in the permian and triassic of South Devon (England)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mader, Detlef

    flat seaming the toes of the fan chain. Sedimentation is characterized by flashy discharge with many episodic flood pulses of short periodicity and mainly rapid waning of high-water phases with quick underrunning of the threshold velocity for keeping the large clasts rolling. Pronounced slack water episodes allow occasionally the draping of gravel sheets with thin veneers of waning-flow and stagnant-water fines. Spectacular invertebrate burrows in finer breccias underline the flashy nature of most of the flood and flow events, allowing the colonization of the sediments with ground-living invertebrates during interruptions of transport and accumulation. Some peculiar dewatering structures being infilling of crack systems in breccias with wash-load sand are probably induced by earthquake shocks thus pointing to the active tectonic setting of the depositional area. Aeolian sands originate as transverse dune ridges in restricted dune fields and extensive sand seas and as sheet sands in interdune playa depressions. Associated mudstones and ventifact gravel form in wet interdunes or in playa lakes and in deflationary interdunes, respectively. Accumulation of aeolian dunes and interdune sheet sands takes place by both spreading out of drapes on flats and infilling of abandoned fluvial channels which enhance the trapping of sand by topographical effects. The dunes and wind ripple trains migrate across dry interdune floors under predominantly unidirectional winds. Sedimentary processes are grainfall and grainflow on the lee slope of dunes and subcritical climbing of wind ripples. Episodical wetting and dampening of dry interdune flats by intermittent rainfall, periodical dew and even ephemeral fluvial or alluvial-fan incursions allow formation of adhesion-rippled sands on damp surfaces and origin of sandy and silty-clayey lacustrine sediments in shallow water veneers of the flooded playa. Aquatic modification of aeolian sands by invading flood surges of atmospheric or alluvial

  14. Aeolian sands and buried soils in the Mecklenburg Lake District, NE Germany: Holocene land-use history and pedo-geomorphic response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Küster, Mathias; Fülling, Alexander; Kaiser, Knut; Ulrich, Jens

    2014-04-01

    The present study is a pedo-geomorphic approach to reconstructing Holocene aeolian sand dynamics in the Mecklenburg Lake District (NE Germany). Stratigraphical, sedimentological and soil research supplemented by morphogenetic interpretations of the genesis of dunes and aeolian sands are discussed. A complex Late Holocene aeolian stratigraphy within a drift sand area was developed at the shore of Lake Müritz. The results were confirmed using palynological records, archaeological data and regional history. Accelerated aeolian activity was triggered by the intensification of settlement and land-use activities during the 13th and in the 15th to 16th century AD. After a period of stability beginning with population decline during the ‘Thirty Years War' and continuing through the 18th century, a final aeolian phase due to the establishment of glassworks was identified during the 19th century AD. We assume a direct link between Holocene aeolian dynamics and human activities. Prehistoric Holocene drift sands on terrestrial sites have not been documented in the Mecklenburg Lake District so far. This might be explained either by erosion and incorporation of older aeolian sediments during younger aeolian phases and/or a lower regional land-use intensity in older periods of the Holocene. The investigated drift sands are stratigraphically and sedimentologically characterised by a high degree of heterogeneity, reflecting the spatial and temporal variability of Holocene human impact.

  15. Sedimentary Rocks and Dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    25 November 2004 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows buttes composed of light-toned, sedimentary rock exposed by erosion within a crater occurring immediately west of Schiaparelli Basin near 4.0oS, 347.9oW. Surrounding these buttes is a field of dark sand dunes and lighter-toned, very large windblown ripples. The sedimentary rocks might indicate that the crater interior was once the site of a lake. The image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) wide. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

  16. Mars Global Digital Dune Database (MGD3): Global dune distribution and wind pattern observations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hayward, Rosalyn K.; Fenton, Lori; Titus, Timothy N.

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Global Digital Dune Database (MGD3) is complete and now extends from 90°N to 90°S latitude. The recently released south pole (SP) portion (MC-30) of MGD3 adds ∼60,000 km2 of medium to large-size dark dune fields and ∼15,000 km2 of sand deposits and smaller dune fields to the previously released equatorial (EQ, ∼70,000 km2), and north pole (NP, ∼845,000 km2) portions of the database, bringing the global total to ∼975,000 km2. Nearly all NP dunes are part of large sand seas, while the majority of EQ and SP dune fields are individual dune fields located in craters. Despite the differences between Mars and Earth, their dune and dune field morphologies are strikingly similar. Bullseye dune fields, named for their concentric ring pattern, are the exception, possibly owing their distinctive appearance to winds that are unique to the crater environment. Ground-based wind directions are derived from slipface (SF) orientation and dune centroid azimuth (DCA), a measure of the relative location of a dune field inside a crater. SF and DCA often preserve evidence of different wind directions, suggesting the importance of local, topographically influenced winds. In general however, ground-based wind directions are broadly consistent with expected global patterns, such as polar easterlies. Intriguingly, between 40°S and 80°S latitude both SF and DCA preserve their strongest, though different, dominant wind direction, with transport toward the west and east for SF-derived winds and toward the north and west for DCA-derived winds.

  17. Mars Global Digital Dune Database (MGD3): Global dune distribution and wind pattern observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayward, R. K.; Fenton, L. K.; Titus, T. N.

    2014-02-01

    The Mars Global Digital Dune Database (MGD3) is complete and now extends from 90°N to 90°S latitude. The recently released south pole (SP) portion (MC-30) of MGD3 adds ˜60,000 km2 of medium to large-size dark dune fields and ˜15,000 km2 of sand deposits and smaller dune fields to the previously released equatorial (EQ, ˜70,000 km2), and north pole (NP, ˜845,000 km2) portions of the database, bringing the global total to ˜975,000 km2. Nearly all NP dunes are part of large sand seas, while the majority of EQ and SP dune fields are individual dune fields located in craters. Despite the differences between Mars and Earth, their dune and dune field morphologies are strikingly similar. Bullseye dune fields, named for their concentric ring pattern, are the exception, possibly owing their distinctive appearance to winds that are unique to the crater environment. Ground-based wind directions are derived from slipface (SF) orientation and dune centroid azimuth (DCA), a measure of the relative location of a dune field inside a crater. SF and DCA often preserve evidence of different wind directions, suggesting the importance of local, topographically influenced winds. In general however, ground-based wind directions are broadly consistent with expected global patterns, such as polar easterlies. Intriguingly, between 40°S and 80°S latitude both SF and DCA preserve their strongest, though different, dominant wind direction, with transport toward the west and east for SF-derived winds and toward the north and west for DCA-derived winds.

  18. The north-eastern aeolian 'European Sand Belt' as potential record of environmental changes: A case study from Eastern Latvia and Southern Estonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalińska-Nartiša, Edyta; Thiel, Christine; Nartišs, Māris; Buylaert, Jan-Pieter; Murray, Andrew S.

    2016-09-01

    The Latvian and Estonian inland dunes belong to the north-eastern part of the 'European Sand Belt' (ESB). These dunes are widely distributed over broad glaciolacustrine plains and Late Glacial alluvial deltas, considered to be potential sources for the aeolian material. Little is known about these aeolian sediments and their substratum; here we present a detailed sedimentary structural and textural characterisation together with a luminescence-based chronology. Through a comparison between grain-size, rounding of quartz grains and surface characteristics in medium/coarse (0.5-0.8 mm) sand, and the light mineral content, we found an alternation of aeolian and periglacial components. Further, short-lasting aeolian abrasion and/or transportation periods, and a significant contribution of a nearby sediment source are suggested. Luminescence dating points to aeolian sand accumulation and dune formation between ∼16 ka and ∼9 ka. However, we also observed some presumably watertable controlled environmental conditions at ∼13 ka; this corresponds with the occurrence of an ice-dammed/proglacial lake.

  19. Identifying sources of aeolian mineral dust: Present and past

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muhs, Daniel R; Prospero, Joseph M; Baddock, Matthew C; Gill, Thomas E

    2014-01-01

    Aeolian mineral dust is an important component of the Earth’s environmental systems, playing roles in the planetary radiation balance, as a source of fertilizer for biota in both terrestrial and marine realms and as an archive for understanding atmospheric circulation and paleoclimate in the geologic past. Crucial to understanding all of these roles of dust is the identification of dust sources. Here we review the methods used to identify dust sources active at present and in the past. Contemporary dust sources, produced by both glaciogenic and non-glaciogenic processes, can be readily identified by the use of Earth-orbiting satellites. These data show that present dust sources are concentrated in a global dust belt that encompasses large topographic basins in low-latitude arid and semiarid regions. Geomorphic studies indicate that specific point sources for dust in this zone include dry or ephemeral lakes, intermittent stream courses, dune fields, and some bedrock surfaces. Back-trajectory analyses are also used to identify dust sources, through modeling of wind fields and the movement of air parcels over periods of several days. Identification of dust sources from the past requires novel approaches that are part of the geologic toolbox of provenance studies. Identification of most dust sources of the past requires the use of physical, mineralogical, geochemical, and isotopic analyses of dust deposits. Physical properties include systematic spatial changes in dust deposit thickness and particle size away from a source. Mineralogy and geochemistry can pinpoint dust sources by clay mineral ratios and Sc-Th-La abundances, respectively. The most commonly used isotopic methods utilize isotopes of Nd, Sr, and Pb and have been applied extensively in dust archives of deep-sea cores, ice cores, and loess. All these methods have shown that dust sources have changed over time, with far more abundant dust supplies existing during glacial periods. Greater dust supplies in

  20. The developmental trend and influencing factors of aeolian desertification in the Zoige Basin, eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Guangyin; Dong, Zhibao; Lu, Junfeng; Yan, Changzhen

    2015-12-01

    The Zoige Basin is located in the northeastern region of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and covers an area of 19,400 km2. At a mean altitude of 3500 m, the basin is highly sensitive to global environmental change and human disturbance due to its high elevation and fragile cold environment. The process of aeolian desertification in the basin can be clearly recognized in Landsat images that show the development of sand sheets and dunes over time. To monitor the spatial and temporal changes of aeolian desertification in the Zoige Basin, we analyzed Landsat images recorded in 1975, 1990, 2000, 2005, and 2010. Results showed that aeolian desertification increased rapidly from 1975 to 1990, was stable from 1990 to 2000, decreased slightly from 2000 to 2005, and decreased sharply from 2005 to 2010. Increasing temperature, overgrazing, rodent damage, and drainage of wetlands were considered the key driving factors of the expansion of aeolian desertification. A number of political measures were initiated in the 1990s to slow desertification, but the countermeasures of grazing prohibition, enclosures, and paving straw checkerboard barriers were not implemented until around 2005. These measures resulted in a dramatic recovery of aeolian desertified land between 2005 and 2010. Based on the cause analysis, anthropogenic factors were identified as the dominant driving force for both development and recovery of aeolian desertified land.

  1. How Altitude and Latitude Control Dune Morphometry on Titan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Le Gall, A.; Hayes, A.; Ewing, R.; Janssen, M. A.; Radebaugh, J.; Savage, C.; Encrenaz, P.

    2011-01-01

    Dune fields are one of the dominant landforms and represent the largest known organic reservoir on Titan. SAR-derived topography show that Titan's dune terrains tend to occupy the lowest altitude areas in equatorial regions occurring at mean elevations between approx.-400 and 0 m. In elevated dune terrains, there is a definite trend towards a smaller dune to interdune ratio, interpreted as due to limited sediment availability. A similar linear correlation is observed with latitude, suggesting that the quantity of windblown sand in the dune fields tends to decrease as one moves farther north. These findings place important constraints on Titan's geology and climate.

  2. An optical luminescence chronology for late Pleistocene aeolian activity in the Colombian and Venezuelan Llanos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carr, Andrew S.; Armitage, Simon J.; Berrío, Juan-Carlos; Bilbao, Bibiana A.; Boom, Arnoud

    2016-03-01

    The lowland savannas (Llanos) of Colombia and Venezuela are covered by extensive aeolian landforms for which little chronological information exists. We present the first optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) age constraints for dunes in the Llanos Orientales of lowland Colombia and new ages for dunes in the Venezuelan Llanos. The sampled dunes are fully vegetated and show evidence of post-depositional erosion. Ages range from 4.5 ± 0.4 to 66 ± 4 ka, with the majority dating to 27-10 ka (Marine Isotope Stage 2). Some dunes accumulated quickly during the last glacial maximum, although most were active 16-10 ka. Accretion largely ceased after 10 ka. All dunes are elongated downwind from rivers, parallel with dry season winds, and are interpreted as source-bordering features. As they are presently isolated from fluvial sediments by gallery forest it is proposed that activity was associated with a more prolonged dry season, which restricted gallery forest, leading to greater sediment availability on river shorelines. Such variability in dry season duration was potentially mediated by the mean latitude of the ITCZ. The cessation of most dune accretion after ca. 10 ka suggests reduced seasonality and a more northerly ITCZ position, consistent with evidence from the Cariaco Basin.

  3. Aeolian features and processes at the Mars Pathfinder landing site

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greeley, Ronald; Kraft, Michael; Sullivan, Robert; Wilson, Gregory; Bridges, Nathan; Herkenhoff, Ken; Kuzmin, Ruslan O.; Malin, Michael; Ward, Wes

    1999-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder landing site contains abundant features attributed to aeolian, or wind, processes. These include wind tails, drift deposits, duneforms of various types, ripplelike features, and ventifacts (the first clearly seen on Mars). Many of these features are consistant with formation involving sand-size particles. Although some features, such as dunes, could develop from saltating sand-size aggregates of finer grains, the discovery of ventifact flutes cut in rocks strongly suggests that at least some of the grains are crystalline, rather than aggregates. Excluding the ventifacts, the orientations of the wind-related features correlate well with the orientations of bright wind steaks seen on Viking Orbiter images in the general area. They also correlate with wind direction predictions from the NASA-Ames General Circulation Model (GCM) which show that the strongest winds in the area occur in the northern hemisphere winter and are directed toward 209°. Copyright 1999 by the American Geophysical Union.

  4. Holocene formation and evolution of coastal dunes ridges, Brittany (France)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Vliet-Lanoë, Brigitte; Goslin, Jérôme; Hénaff, Alain; Hallégouët, Bernard; Delacourt, Christophe; Le Cornec, Erwan; Meurisse-Fort, Murielle

    2016-07-01

    Holocene coastal dune formation under a continuously rising sea level (SL) is an abnormal response to increasing storm frequency. The aim of this work is to understand the coastal sedimentary budget and the present-day sand starvation, controlled by climate and man. Dating in Brittany shows that Aeolian deposition initiated from ca. 4000 cal BP, with the slowing down of the SL rise. Pre-historical dunes appeared here from ca. 3000 cal BP, without SL regression. After, further building phases recycled the same stock of sands. Historical dunes I developed from ca. 350 AD. Major storms between 900 and 1200 AD resulted in the construction of washover coastal ridges, the Historical dunes II. A part of the sand was evacuated offshore. From ca. 1350 AD, the pre-existing ridges are reworked forming the Historical dunes III, leading to rapid coastal erosion and inland drift. Holocene dunes with a rising SL constitute a temporary anomaly, mostly forced by man, soon erased by storms in Brittany.

  5. Material transport map of Titan: The fate of dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malaska, Michael J.; Lopes, Rosaly M.; Hayes, Alex G.; Radebaugh, Jani; Lorenz, Ralph D.; Turtle, Elizabeth P.

    2016-05-01

    Using SAR data from Cassini's RADAR instrument, we examined the orientations of three terrain units on Titan, bright lineated plains, streak-like plains, and linear dunes. From the overall integrated pattern of their orientation, we were able to determine Titan's global material transport vectors. The analysis indicates that, in both the northern and southern hemispheres, materials from 0 to 35 deg latitude are transported poleward to a belt centred at roughly 35 deg. Materials from 60 to 35 deg latitude are transported equatorward to the belt at roughly 35 deg. Comparison with the global topographical gradient (Lorenz, R.D. et al. [2013]. Icarus 225, 367-377) suggests that fluvial transport is not the dominant process for material transport on Titan, or that it is at least overprinted with another transport mechanism. Our results are consistent with aeolian transport being the dominant mechanism in the equatorial and mid-latitude zones. The zone at 35 deg is thus the ultimate sink for materials from the equator to low polar latitudes; materials making up the equatorial dunes will be transported to the latitude 35-deg belts. Only plains units are observed at latitudes of ∼35 deg; dunes and materials with the spectral characteristics of dunes are not observed at these latitudes. This observation suggests that either dune materials are converted or modified into plains units or that the margins of dunes are transport limited.

  6. Studies in Martian Aeolian Geology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, Ronald

    2001-01-01

    This report gives the results from the investigation through March 15, 1999 for the first two years of the three year investigation (year 3 runs from March 1, 1999 to February 27, 2000). The investigation included three tasks, all involving windblown dust (particles a few micrometers in diameter) to simulate the aeolian regime on Mars. Experiments were conducted primarily in the Mars Surface Wind Tunnel (MARSWIT) at NASA-Ames Research Center.

  7. Downslope coarsening in aeolian grainflows of the Navajo Sandstone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loope, David B.; Elder, James F.; Sweeney, Mark R.

    2012-07-01

    Downslope coarsening in grainflows has been observed on present-day dunes and generated in labs, but few previous studies have examined vertical sorting in ancient aeolian grainflows. We studied the grainflow strata of the Jurassic Navajo Sandstone in the southern Utah portion of its outcrop belt from Zion National Park (west) to Coyote Buttes and The Dive (east). At each study site, thick sets of grainflow-dominated cross-strata that were deposited by large transverse dunes comprise the bulk of the Navajo Sandstone. We studied three stratigraphic columns, one per site, composed almost exclusively of aeolian cross-strata. For each column, samples were obtained from one grainflow stratum in each consecutive set of the column, for a total of 139 samples from thirty-two sets of cross-strata. To investigate grading perpendicular to bedding within individual grainflows, we collected fourteen samples from four superimposed grainflow strata at The Dive. Samples were analyzed with a Malvern Mastersizer 2000 laser diffraction particle analyser. The median grain size of grainflow samples ranges from fine sand (164 μm) to coarse sand (617 μm). Using Folk and Ward criteria, samples are well-sorted to moderately-well-sorted. All but one of the twenty-eight sets showed at least slight downslope coarsening, but in general, downslope coarsening was not as well-developed or as consistent as that reported in laboratory subaqueous grainflows. Because coarse sand should be quickly sequestered within preserved cross-strata when bedforms climb, grain-size studies may help to test hypotheses for the stacking of sets of cross-strata.

  8. Exploring inner structure of Titan's dunes from Cassini Radar observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, P.; Heggy, E.; Farr, T. G.

    2013-12-01

    Linear dunes discovered in the equatorial regions of Titan by the Cassini-Huygens mission are morphologically very similar to many terrestrial linear dune fields. These features have been compared with terrestrial longitudinal dune fields like the ones in Namib desert in western Africa. This comparison is based on the overall parallel orientation of Titan's dunes to the predominant wind direction on Titan, their superposition on other geomorphological features and the way they wrap around topographic obstacles. Studying the internal layering of dunes has strong implications in understanding the hypothesis for their origin and evolution. In Titan's case, although the morphology of the dunes has been studied from Cassini Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images, it has not been possible to investigate their internal structure in detail as of yet. Since no radar sounding data is available for studying Titan's subsurface yet, we have developed another technique to examine the inner layering of the dunes. In this study, we utilize multiple complementary radar datasets, including radar imaging data for Titan's and Earth's dunes and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)/radar sounding data for terrestrial dunes. Based on dielectric mixing models, we suggest that the Cassini Ku-band microwaves should be able to penetrate up to ~ 3 m through Titan's dunes, indicating that the returned radar backscatter signal would include contributions from both surface and shallow subsurface echoes. This implies that the shallow subsurface properties can be retrieved from the observed radar backscatter (σ0). In our analysis, the variation of the radar backscatter as a function of dune height is used to provide an insight into the layering in Titan's dunes. We compare the variation of radar backscatter with elevation over individual dunes on Titan and analogous terrestrial dunes in three sites (Great Sand Sea, Siwa dunes and Qattaniya dunes) in the Egyptian Sahara. We observe a strong, positive

  9. Publication trends in Aeolian research: An analysis of the biblography of Aeolian research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An analysis of the Bibliography of Aeolian Research has provided information regarding publication trends in aeolian research. Overall, results suggest that there has been a significant increase in the number of publications per year since the first aeolian-research publication appeared in 1646. P...

  10. Aeolian cliff-top deposits and buried soils in the White River Badlands, South Dakota, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rawling, J. E.; Fredlund, G.G.; Mahan, S.

    2003-01-01

    Aeolian deposits in the North American Great Plains are important sources of Holocene palaeo-environmental records. Although there are extensive studies on loess and dune records in the region, little is known about records in aeolian cliff-top deposits. These are common on table (mesa) edges in the White River Badlands. These sediments typically have loam and sandy-loam textures with dominantly very fine sand, 0.5-1% organic carbon and 0.5-5% CaCO3. Some of these aeolian deposits are atypically coarse and contain granules and fine pebbles. Buried soils within these deposits are weakly developed with A-C and A-AC-C profiles. Beneath these are buried soils with varying degrees of pedogenic development formed in fluvial, aeolian or colluvial deposits. Thickness and number of buried soils vary. However, late-Holocene soils from several localities have ages of approximately 1300, 2500 and 3700 14C yrs BP. The 1300 14C yr BP soil is cumulic, with a thicker and lighter A horizon. Soils beneath the cliff-top deposits are early-Holocene (typically 7900 but as old as 10000 14C yrs BP) at higher elevation (???950 m) tables, and late-Holocene (2900 14C yrs BP) at lower (???830 m) tables. These age estimates are based on total organic matter 14C ages from the top 5 cm of buried soils, and agreement is good between an infrared stimulated luminescence age and bracketing 14C ages. Our studies show that cliff-top aeolian deposits have a history similar to that of other aeolian deposits on the Great Plains, and they are another source of palaeoenvironmental data.

  11. Proctor Cr. Dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Context image for PIA03293 Proctor Cr. Dunes

    This large dune field is located on the floor of Proctor Crater.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -47.4N, Longitude 30.7E. 17 meter/pixel resolution.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

  12. Dunes and Drumlins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fowler, A. C.

    Dunes are landforms which occur when a turbulent fluid flow occurs above an erodible substrate. The most obvious example occurs in deserts, where the wind blows sand into a wide variety of different shapes (see Chap. 17 for many illustration of such dunes). Linear dunes, or 'seifs', are ridges which form parallel to the prevailing wind direction, while transverse dunes are ridges perpendicular to the wind. A variety of other shapes can occur, amongst them star dunes and barchan dunes. Dunes also occur under rivers, for similar reasons. Because the flow in this situation is uni-directional, such exotica as star dunes do not occur. On the other hand, when the flow is rapid enough, anti-dunes occur; these are associated with waves at the water surface which are in phase with the underlying bed forms. Dunes occur due to an instability which arises through a coupling between the bed transport rate and the overlying flow. In rivers and deserts, the bed material is transported (in rivers as bedload) through the imposition of a wind or water driven shear stress. If a perturbation in the bed elevation occurs, then the increased roughness alters the bed shear stress, and hence the bed transport rate. It is this feedback which causes the instability. As we shall see, the instability relies cruciall y on the fact that the perturbed shear stress is out of phase with the perturbed bed form.

  13. Longevity of aeolian megaripples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yizhaq, H.; Katra, I.

    2015-07-01

    Megaripples are distinguished from regular ripples by their larger dimensions and bimodal grain-size distributions. The interplay between wind, grain size and ripple morphology (height and wavelength) controls their development. Two main mechanisms limit megaripple height. The first, megaripple flattening due to winds that are above the fluid threshold of the coarse grains, destroys the armoring layer of the megaripple. The second is megaripple erosion by the impacts of fast-moving, fine saltating grains that propel the coarse grains constituting the armoring layer. For any given wind regime and grain size distribution, the potential megaripple dimensions are limited by these two mechanisms. Here we study the first mechanism and estimate the duration of strong winds (sustained above the fluid threshold) needed to flatten megaripples. Strong gusts of wind, in contrast, cannot destroy the megaripples but can cause ripple migration. Based on data from previous works on megaripples, we find a scaling law between the ripple morphology and the coarse mode of grains at the crest. Using this scaling relation allows us to calculate the wind velocity and duration needed for megaripple flattening. In general, the coarser the particles at the megaripple crest, the stronger the wind needed to flatten the megaripples. Moreover, the greater the strength of the wind required to flatten the megaripples, the lower the recurrence probability. Taken together, these findings increase the longevity of megaripples. We apply the results for a megaripple field in the southern Arava valley (Israel).

  14. Winds drive dune movement on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balcerak, Ernie

    2012-01-01

    Sand dunes, a common feature on the surface of Mars, can provide a record of recent and past changes. Some dunes near Mars's polar areas have recently been observed to change due to carbon dioxide ice sublimation, but it has not been confirmed whether dunes are still active all over Mars. Winds contribute to dune movement on Earth, but wind tunnel and atmospheric computer simulations have suggested that strong winds would be rare in the current Martian atmosphere. In a new study, Silvestro et al. observe recent dune movement in Mars's tropical regions, which are not affected by seasonal changes in carbon dioxide frost. Focusing on the Arabia Terra and Meridiani regions on Mars, the researchers analyzed images from the High Resolution Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as well as other sources of data. They measured migration rates of two groups of ripples in the sand in a dune field in Meridiani Planum and found that dunes advanced about 0.4-1 meter in a Martian year.

  15. A Threshold Continuum for Aeolian Sand Transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swann, C.; Ewing, R. C.; Sherman, D. J.

    2015-12-01

    The threshold of motion for aeolian sand transport marks the initial entrainment of sand particles by the force of the wind. This is typically defined and modeled as a singular wind speed for a given grain size and is based on field and laboratory experimental data. However, the definition of threshold varies significantly between these empirical models, largely because the definition is based on visual-observations of initial grain movement. For example, in his seminal experiments, Bagnold defined threshold of motion when he observed that 100% of the bed was in motion. Others have used 50% and lesser values. Differences in threshold models, in turn, result is large errors in predicting the fluxes associated with sand and dust transport. Here we use a wind tunnel and novel sediment trap to capture the fractions of sand in creep, reptation and saltation at Earth and Mars pressures and show that the threshold of motion for aeolian sand transport is best defined as a continuum in which grains progress through stages defined by the proportion of grains in creep and saltation. We propose the use of scale dependent thresholds modeled by distinct probability distribution functions that differentiate the threshold based on micro to macro scale applications. For example, a geologic timescale application corresponds to a threshold when 100% of the bed in motion whereas a sub-second application corresponds to a threshold when a single particle is set in motion. We provide quantitative measurements (number and mode of particle movement) corresponding to visual observations, percent of bed in motion and degrees of transport intermittency for Earth and Mars. Understanding transport as a continuum provides a basis for revaluating sand transport thresholds on Earth, Mars and Titan.

  16. A methodological approach to assess beach-dune system susceptibility to erosion. Cases studies from Valdelagrana spit (Spain) and Campomarino beach (Italy).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rizzo, Angela; Aucelli, Pietro P. C.; Gracia, Javier F.; Anfuso, Giorgio; Rosskopf, Carmen M.

    2016-04-01

    Dunes provide many important services to coastal areas, such as coastal erosion mitigation, coastal flooding protection and biological diversity. Their dynamic equilibrium and geomorphological evolution are the result of the interaction between marine and aeolian processes. Moreover, coastal dunes are characterized by a high ecological value, being a narrow strip between marine and terrestrial ecosystems and are habitats considered of community interest by the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC. In the meantime, the significant increase of human pressure on coastal environments during the last decades has caused a strong alteration and an increase of the fragility and fragmentation of these habitats. This paper presents a methodological approach for the assessment of the beach-dune system susceptibility to erosion. The aim is to identify, at the local scale, the degree of susceptibility of coastal stretches in order to evaluate the degree of exposure of human settlements and natural environments located behind the dune system and to support actuations to appropriately improve dune management and conservation. A coastal susceptibility matrix and a corresponding Coastal Susceptibility Index (CSI) are proposed. Following the assumption that a good index should be based on a minimum amount of essential information (Cooper and McLaughlin, 1998), possibly already available or easy to be obtained (Villa and McLeod, 2002), the proposed index consisted into eight variables concerning existing beach and dune conditions, covering geomorphological, physical and anthropogenic aspects. Each variable was inserted into a GIS system and overlapped with the others through a logical overlay operation. The resulting layer was reclassified according to the formula proposed by Rangel and Anfuso (2015) allowing to calculate the CSI, which ranged from 1 (null/very low susceptibility) to 5 (very high susceptibility). In a further step, the predominant processes occurred in the last decades were

  17. Corridors of barchan dunes: Stability and size selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hersen, P.; Andersen, K. H.; Elbelrhiti, H.; Andreotti, B.; Claudin, P.; Douady, S.

    2004-01-01

    Barchans are crescentic dunes propagating on a solid ground. They form dune fields in the shape of elongated corridors in which the size and spacing between dunes are rather well selected. We show that even very realistic models for solitary dunes do not reproduce these corridors. Instead, two instabilities take place. First, barchans receive a sand flux at their back proportional to their width while the sand escapes only from their horns. Large dunes proportionally capture more sand than they lose, while the situation is reversed for small ones: therefore, solitary dunes cannot remain in a steady state. Second, the propagation speed of dunes decreases with the size of the dune: this leads, through the collision process, to a coarsening of barchan fields. We show that these phenomena are not specific to the model, but result from general and robust mechanisms. The length scales needed for these instabilities to develop are derived and discussed. They turn out to be much smaller than the dune field length. As a conclusion, there should exist further, yet unknown, mechanisms regulating and selecting the size of dunes.

  18. Aeolian beach ridges and their significance for climate and sea level: Concept and insight from the Levant coast (East Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mauz, B.; Hijma, M. P.; Amorosi, A.; Porat, N.; Galili, E.; Bloemendal, J.

    2013-06-01

    Relict beach ridges of aeolian origin and associated soils are often used for inferring relative sea level and climate with contrasting results. Most studies link the aeolian coastal deposits to regressive phases, some to high sea-level stands, and a few to intermediate relative sea-level positions. We interpret the apparent contradictions as indicating the lack of an over-arching concept and the inconsistent usage of sea level-related terms. In this paper we present an integrated morpho-sedimentological concept for a microtidal, mid-latitudinal coast and review existing data from the Levant (East Mediterranean) coast to evaluate the concept and to eliminate nomenclatural confusion. A coastal depositional environment in a semi-arid environment consists of shallow-marine, aeolian and alluvial facies which together form an aeolian beach-ridge complex as a package of strata which respond simultaneously to sea-level change. A transgressive complex forms through reworking or overstepping of the coastal foredune and a regressive complex forms by downstepping. Under transgression the aeolian beach ridge represents the highstand deposit and its adjacent shallow marine sediment is the transgressive deposit. Under regression the complex represents the falling stage and the associated downdip surface marks the lowstand. On the Levant coast we find chronologically well-constrained, offlapping aeolian beach ridges as parts of six downstepping beach ridge complexes formed between ~ 200 ka and 10 ka. The complexes represent the falling stage systems tract (FSST) of a short-lived (5th-order) depositional sequence when the shoreline shifted from a position close to the modern coastline to the shelf or below the shelf edge. Three of these FSSTs and their up dip and down dip super bounding surface together form the 4th order (~ 100 ka) sequence of the last interglacial/glacial cycle. The absence of transgressive, highstand and lowstand systems tract is explained by the poor

  19. Sedimentological, Mineralogical and Geochemical Characterization of Sand Dunes in Saudi Arabia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benaafi, Mohammed; Abdullatif, Osman

    2014-05-01

    Sedimentological, mineralogical, morphological and geochemical studies of sand dunes from ten locations in Saudi Arabia were conducted in order to determine the differences between them and to find out the provenance and tectonic setting of these sand dunes. Sixty seven samples were collected from different sand dunes types ranging in morphology from linear, barchans, parabolic to stars dunes. In overall, the sand dunes are fine to coarse grained mean grain size, moderately sorted, near symmetrical skewness with mesokurtic distribution characterized sand dunes in most locations. The sand dunes grains are subrounded in all locations except in the Red sea, Qassim, central Arabia and the eastern province which showed sub-angular grains. The main mineral compositions of studied aeolian sand dunes are quartz, feldspar, calcite, and mica. Quartz is the dominant mineral in locations with significant amount of feldspars and mica in Najran, Red sea and Central Arabia locations. Moreover, calcite is present in Sakaka and NW Empty Quarter (Jafurah). Basement related sand dunes in Najran, Central Arabia and Red sea locations are sub-mature in terms of their mineralogical maturity. Whereas, sand dunes in other locations are texturally mature except those from the Red sea which showed sub-mature sand. The sands are classified as quartz arenite, except in the basement related sand dunes in Najran, central Arabia and the Red sea are ranging from sub-arkose, sub-litharenite and lithraenite. Morphologically, parallel to sub-parallel sand ridges with NE-SW orientation occurred in east and north parts of Empty Quarter (Najran and Jafurah) and NW-SE orientation in Dahna and Nafud deserts in central and north regions of Saudi Arabia. Parabolic sand dunes characterized the Nafud desert (Hail, Sakaka, Tayma locations). Barchans and star sand dunes characterize the Empty Quarter (Jafurah). Major, trace, and rare earth elements studies were carried out to determine the composition

  20. 'Sharks Teeth' -- Sand Dunes in Proctor Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Sometimes, pictures received from Mars Global Surveyor's Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) are 'just plain pretty.' This image, taken in early September 2000, shows a group of sand dunes at the edge of a much larger field of dark-toned dunes in Proctor Crater. Located at 47.9oS, 330.4oW, in the 170 km (106 mile) diameter crater named for 19th Century British astronomer Richard A. Proctor (1837-1888), the dunes shown here are created by winds blowing largely from the east/northeast. A plethora of smaller, brighter ripples covers the substrate between the dunes. Sunlight illuminates them from the upper left.

  1. Comminution of Aeolian Materials on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marshall, John R.

    1998-01-01

    The research task had a two-year performance period for the investigation of aeolian processes on Mars. Specifically, we were investigating the comminution of sand grains as individual particles, and as bulk populations. Laboratory experiment were completed for the individual particles, and results led to new theory for aeolian transport that is broadly applicable to all planetary surfaces. The theory was presented at the LPSC and the GSA in 1998 and 1997 respectively. Essentially, the new theory postulates that aeolian transport is dependent upon two motion thresholds- an aerodynamic threshold and a bed-dilatancy threshold.

  2. Flood-formed dunes in Athabasca Valles, Mars: Morphology, modeling, and implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burr, D.M.; Carling, P.A.; Beyer, R.A.; Lancaster, N.

    2004-01-01

    Estimates of discharge for martian outflow channels have spanned orders of magnitude due in part to uncertainties in floodwater height. A methodology of estimating discharge based on bedforms would reduce some of this uncertainty. Such a methodology based on the morphology and granulometry of flood-formed ('diluvial') dunes has been developed by Carling (1996b, in: Branson, J., Brown, A.G., Gregory, K.J. (Eds.), Global Continental Changes: The Context of Palaeohydrology. Geological Society Special Publication No. 115, London, UK, 165-179) and applied to Pleistocene flood-formed dunes in Siberia. Transverse periodic dune-like bedforms in Athabasca Valles, Mars, have previously been classified both as flood-formed dunes and as antidunes. Either interpretation is important, as they both imply substantial quantities of water, but each has different hydraulic implications. We undertook photoclinometric measurements of these forms, and compared them with data from flood-formed dunes in Siberia. Our analysis of those data shows their morphology to be more consistent with dunes than antidunes, thus providing the first documentation of flood-formed dunes on Mars. Other reasoning based on context and likely hydraulics also supports the bedforms' classification as dunes. Evidence does not support the dunes being aeolian, although a conclusive determination cannot be made with present data. Given the preponderance of evidence that the features are flood-formed instead of aeolian, we applied Carling's (1996b, in: Branson, J., Brown, A.G., Gregory, K.J. (Eds.), Global Continental Changes: The Context of Palaeohydrology. Geological Society Special Publication No. 115, London, UK, 165-179) dune-flow model to derive the peak discharge of the flood flow that formed them. The resultant estimate is approximately 2??106 m3/s, similar to previous estimates. The size of the Athabascan dunes' in comparison with that of terrestrial dunes suggests that these martian dunes took at least 1

  3. Bursts in discontinuous Aeolian saltation

    PubMed Central

    Carneiro, M. V.; Rasmussen, K. R.; Herrmann, H. J.

    2015-01-01

    Close to the onset of Aeolian particle transport through saltation we find in wind tunnel experiments a regime of discontinuous flux characterized by bursts of activity. Scaling laws are observed in the time delay between each burst and in the measurements of the wind fluctuations at the fluid threshold Shields number θc. The time delay between each burst decreases on average with the increase of the Shields number until sand flux becomes continuous. A numerical model for saltation including the wind-entrainment from the turbulent fluctuations can reproduce these observations and gives insight about their origin. We present here also for the first time measurements showing that with feeding it becomes possible to sustain discontinuous flux even below the fluid threshold. PMID:26073305

  4. Dunes On Titan: Comparison Of The Fensal And Belet Dune Regions Using Multiple Datasets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Gall, Alice; Janssen, M. A.; Wye, L. C.; Hayes, A. G.; Lorenz, R. D.; Radebaugh, J.; Stiles, B.; Cassini RADAR Team

    2010-10-01

    Titan's equatorial belt hosts large expanses of longitudinal dunes. As the Cassini mission continues, more of them are unveiled by the microwave RADAR, both in the active and passive modes and with an increasing number of viewing geometries. These observations have revealed some variations among dune regions. In particular, we find that the Belet and Fensal dune fields differ in terms of radar albedo and thermal emission. In this paper, we combine different datasets (SAR, radiometry, altimetry, scatterometry and SAR-derived topography) and compare them to an electromagnetic model in order to constrain the compositional and physical properties of the Belet and Fensal dunes. Differences between Fensal and Belet are well explained by various degrees of exposure of Titan's icy crust in the interdune regions (the troughs between the dunes). We find that a significant fraction of the Fensal interdunes must either be clear of sand, thus representing the dune substrate, or covered by icy gravels. This is consistent with VIMS spectra that show an enrichment in water ice in Fensal interdunes (Barnes et al., 2008). Furthermore, in many places in Fensal, dunes remain quite bright on SAR images suggesting that they are thin enough to allow waves to probe the substrate. Both interdune brightness and dune thinning point to the lack of available sediment supply in Fensal. In contrast, sand-sized particles seem abundant at Belet's location where the sand sheet is so thick that even the interdune flats appear radar-dark. The difference in sand supply between Fensal and Belet may be due to different wind regime and/or ground humidity. It may also be related to their respective emplacement: Belet is laying in a deep depression and Fensal dunes encroach on Sinlap's fresh water-ice ejecta blanket. The paper will discuss further the origin of the regional variations among Titan dunes.

  5. The nature and formation of aeolian mineral dust material

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smalley, Ian; O'hara-Dhand, Ken; McLaren, Sue

    2013-04-01

    Aeolian dust affects climate and records past climates. It has become a much studied material but there has been a certain lack of emphasis on the actual nature of the dust, and an even greater neglect of actual production mechanisms for dust particles. Huge amounts of dust may be raised from the Bodele depression and other parts of North Africa, and much of it may be carried across the North Atlantic to aid in soil formation in Brazil. But what does it consist of? We know that much of the Bodele dust is diatoms from old Lake Chad, but what of the lithological inorganic mineral content? A very crude division of aeolian dust into large dust(say around 20-50um) and small dust (2-5um)has been proposed. Much of the study of loess has been confused by the failure to make this distinction, and similar problems may arise in the study of the finer fractions of aeolian dust. Much aeolian material is clay-mineral based- formed from clay mineral aggregates(CMA), from lake bottom sediments. This can form large dust particles, as in parna in Australia, but also contributes largely to small long travel aerosolic dust. Another major contributor is the quartz fragment. The large dust for classic loess deposits is mostly quartz silt- and there is considerable discussion about the controls that affect quartz silt. There are some interesting modalities in the world of quartz particle sedimentology which need to be examined. Quartz sand (say 200-500um) is the key initiating material and the formation processes for quartz sand have a down-the-line effect on the formation of smaller particles. The central observation is the action of two processes- a eutectic-like reaction in the proto-rock granite which defines the essential nature of sand particles, and the high-low displacive crystallographic transformation which introduces tensile stresses into the quartz particle systems. The limited range of eutectic particle size means a limited range of tensile stresses. A neat combination of

  6. Particle-size fractionation of aeolian sand along a climatic and geomorphic gradient of the Sinai-Negev erg

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roskin, Joel; Katra, Itzhak; Blumberg, Dan G.

    2015-04-01

    This study examines changes in the aeolian sand fractions along the west-east aeolian transport path of the northern Sinai Peninsula - northwestern (NW) Negev erg of Egypt and Israel. This erg originates from the Nile Delta and is composed of currently active linear (seif) dunes in northern Sinai (its western part), and currently stabilized vegetated linear dunes (VLDs) in the NW Negev dunefield (its eastern part). Sand samples from the Nile Delta, northern Sinai and NW Negev were analyzed for particle-size distribution and sand grain morphology in accordance to their Eastern Mediterranean INQUA Dunes Atlas luminescence and radiocarbon chronologies. Linear seif dunes differ from VLDs in their vegetation cover, linearity, and dynamics. Although both are continuous landforms with similar orientations and sand-grain roundness values, the linear dunes of Sinai are coarser-grained than the Negev VLDs. The VLDs have a significantly higher proportion of very fine sand (125-50 μm) content and a varying but lower sand fining ratio defined as the ratio of fine sand percentage to very fine sand percentage. Very fine sands are suggested to have been winnowed by saltation and low suspension from source deposits and sand sheets. Detailed semi-quantitative examinations of sand grains by a SEM of a Negev VLD shows that most grains do not exhibit features that can be attributed to aeolian abrasion by sand grain-grain collisions. From these observations we infer that fractionation of sand was a major process leading to downwind fining along the studied aeolian transport path. We suggest that the very fine sand fraction of Nile Delta and Sinai sands has been transported downwind since the late middle Pleistocene. In the late Pleistocene, sand reached the NW Negev in the form of VLDs due to last-glacial period windiness of intensities unprecedented today and probably larger sediment supply. Generally current and inferred past decreasing wind velocities and increasing precipitation

  7. Mars Global Digital Dune Database: MC2-MC29

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hayward, Rosalyn K.; Mullins, Kevin F.; Fenton, L.K.; Hare, T.M.; Titus, T.N.; Bourke, M.C.; Colaprete, Anthony; Christensen, P.R.

    2007-01-01

    Introduction The Mars Global Digital Dune Database presents data and describes the methodology used in creating the database. The database provides a comprehensive and quantitative view of the geographic distribution of moderate- to large-size dune fields from 65? N to 65? S latitude and encompasses ~ 550 dune fields. The database will be expanded to cover the entire planet in later versions. Although we have attempted to include all dune fields between 65? N and 65? S, some have likely been excluded for two reasons: 1) incomplete THEMIS IR (daytime) coverage may have caused us to exclude some moderate- to large-size dune fields or 2) resolution of THEMIS IR coverage (100m/pixel) certainly caused us to exclude smaller dune fields. The smallest dune fields in the database are ~ 1 km2 in area. While the moderate to large dune fields are likely to constitute the largest compilation of sediment on the planet, smaller stores of sediment of dunes are likely to be found elsewhere via higher resolution data. Thus, it should be noted that our database excludes all small dune fields and some moderate to large dune fields as well. Therefore the absence of mapped dune fields does not mean that such dune fields do not exist and is not intended to imply a lack of saltating sand in other areas. Where availability and quality of THEMIS visible (VIS) or Mars Orbiter Camera narrow angle (MOC NA) images allowed, we classifed dunes and included dune slipface measurements, which were derived from gross dune morphology and represent the prevailing wind direction at the last time of significant dune modification. For dunes located within craters, the azimuth from crater centroid to dune field centroid was calculated. Output from a general circulation model (GCM) is also included. In addition to polygons locating dune fields, the database includes over 1800 selected Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) infrared (IR), THEMIS visible (VIS) and Mars Orbiter Camera Narrow Angle (MOC NA

  8. Dark-toned dunes in the western Medusae Fossae Formation: Characteristics, distribution, and source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burr, D. M.; Zimbelman, J. R.; Brown, A. J.; Qualls, F. B.; Michaels, T. I.; Chojnacki, M.

    2010-12-01

    Aeolian bedforms are nearly ubiquitous on Mars but the origin of the sediments remains unidentified. Dark-toned Martian sand may originate as volcaniclastic sediment (Edgett and Lancaster 1993). The Medusae Fossae Formation (MFF) has been hypothesized to be a volcaniclastic deposit. The two lobes of the western-most MFF (westMFF) host dark -toned sediments (Fig. 1) categorized here as aeolian based on morphologies, surface textures, and locations within lows. These sediments are bright in both day and night infrared (IR) images, indicating a large grain size and low albedo, and are concentrated along the westMFF southern margin, below the highland-lowland boundary (HLB) scarp. Indications of an MFF origin for this dark-toned dune sediment include: 1) gradation of tone: the dark sediments frequently grade into lighter toned MFF slope materials. 2) morphology and location: The dark dune morphologies indicate emplacement by a northerly (toward the south) wind regime (Fig. 1), for which the westMFF immediately to the north provides a sediment origin. 3) composition: Limited spectral data of the dark dunes indicate an olivine-poor composition, in contrast to the olivine-rich spectra of dunes in southern highland (SH) and Cerberus plains (Cp) craters, indicating a different source for those SH or Cp dunes than for the westMFF dunes. Thus, while minor amounts of sediment have likely been contributed from elsewhwere, we hypothesize that the dark-toned dunes in the westMFF originate(d) from the breakdown of MFF sediments, winnowing of bright fines, and concentration of dark, coarse sand into dunes. Given the putative origin of the MFF as volcaniclastic, this identification of the origin of the westMFF dark-toned dunes supports the paradigm of dark aeolian sediments on Mars originating as volcaniclastic material. Portion of P07_003769_1742_XN_05S209W, showing gradation between lighter- and dark-toned sediments (upper portion of image), and echo dune morphology (white oval

  9. Aeolian geomorphology from the global perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R.

    1985-01-01

    Any planet or satellite having a dynamic atmosphere and a solid surface has the potential for experiencing aeolian (wind) processes. A survey of the Solar System shows at least four planetary objects which potentially meet these criteria: Earth, Mars, Venus, and possibly Titan, the largest satellite of Saturn. While the basic process is the same among these four objects, the movement of particles by the atmosphere, the aeolian environment is drastically different. It ranges from the hot (730 K), dense atmosphere of Venus to the extremely cold desert (218 K) environment of Mars where the atmospheric surface pressure is only approximately 7.5 mb. In considering aeolian processes in the planetary perspective, all three terrestrial planets share some common areas of attention for research, especially in regard to wind erosion and dust storms. Relevant properties of planetary objects potentially subject to aeolian processes are given in tabular form.

  10. Mid-latitude Dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    7 August 2005 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows dark sand dunes on the floor of a southern mid-latitude impact crater. Craters are commonly the site of sand dunes, as sand may become trapped in these topographic depressions. In this case, the winds responsible for the dunes generally blew from the south/southeast (bottom/lower right),

    Location near: 51.8oS, 105.5oW Image width: width: 3 km (1.9 mi) Illumination from: upper left Season: Southern Spring

  11. Optical dating of aeolian dynamism on the West African Sahelian margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stokes, S.; Bailey, R. M.; Fedoroff, N.; O'Marah, K. E.

    2004-04-01

    The Sahelian Margin of West Africa is widely recognised as an area of recent environmental catastrophe and human suffering arising from food shortage and land degradation associated with prolonged drought. The propensity of this region to suffer drought has been related, using environmental data collected during the period of instrumental records, to a combination of low mean annual rainfall levels and a high degree of rainfall variability which relates to sea surface temperature anomalies in the adjacent tropical Atlantic Ocean. Despite the significant environmental and human consequences of such droughts, there is a paucity of long-term environmental data for the West African Sahel. Aeolian dune reactivations in this area are a potentially highly useful environmental archive of past periods of extended drought conditions, which may have resulted in localised or widespread dune reactivation. Here we describe the initial results from an ongoing programme of research, which seeks to develop a detailed record of past dune reactivations in Mali. We find evidence for repeated Holocene dune reactivation events and a significant number of reactivations, which commenced at the time of onset of the last major drought cycle in the early 1970s. We obtain ages as young as 20-30 years for some significant dune units (thickness up to 1 m) and describe the results of experiments which test the performance of our dating exercise. We specifically test for the significance of preheat temperature on single aliquot regeneration (SAR) equivalent dose determinations and recycling ratios; neither are found vary significantly as a function of preheating. Optical dating of sand sized quartz could provide a useful tool for palaeogeographical mapping of ancient and historical dune reactivations in this region and elsewhere.

  12. Inconsistencies in coastal dune genesis and development in the western Mediterranean Cabopino Dune system, southern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guisado-Pintado, Emilia; Malvárez, Gonzalo; Jackson, Derek; Navas, Fatima

    2016-04-01

    It is generally agreed that a falling sea level regime is required in the long term to establish dunes as distinctive landform features along a coast. Sedimentary (supply) bodies from fluvial, glacial sources or marine platform processes also need to be in place. In most Atlantic-facing coastal dune systems the current morpho-sedimentary structures are usually associated with the period between 18K BP and present when both glacial and riverine sediments emplaced sediments within the active zone of present sea level to help form beaches and dunes. Mediterranean coastal dunes fronted by steep continental shelves, such as in the western Mediterranean coast of southern Spain are, however, not associated with glacial deposits and thus are only present in association with river mouths and/or coastal lagoons. Their development is attributed to very recent sediment supply, which, combined with other forcing factors such as wind and waves, several orders of magnitude below those of north Atlantic systems, explains their limited extent. Some coastal dune fields however, do not seem to respond to this general pattern because of their scale and, more importantly, their origin linked possibly to marine platform processes rather than riverine or lagoonal development. Here, we examine the Cabopino dune system in southern Spain offering a conceptual model of their genesis and development as an "Atlantic" dune system within a Mediterranean setting. This is demonstrated by their scale (the largest in the Spanish Mediterranean) and their morphodynamic link to nearshore and platform processes in the last 18,000 years.

  13. Frost on Dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    18 March 2005 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows dark dunes on a crater floor during the southern spring. Some of the dunes have frost on their south-facing slopes.

    Location near: 52.3oS, 326.7oW Image width: 3 km (1.9 mi) Illumination from: upper left Season: Southern Spring

  14. Recent seasonal variations in arid landscape cover and aeolian sand mobility, Navajo Nation, southwestern U.S.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Draut, Amy E.; Redsteer, Margaret Hiza; Amoroso, Lee; Giosan, Liviu; Fuller, Dorian Q.; Nicoll, Kathleen; Flad, Rowan K.; Clift, Peter D.

    2013-01-01

    The socioeconomic impacts of climate change pose problems not only in devel- oping countries but also to residents of arid lands in the United States among marginalized societies with limited economic means. In the Navajo Nation, warming temperatures and recent drought have increased aeolian sediment mobility such that large, migrating sand dunes affect grazing lands, housing, and road access. Dust derived from this region also affects albedo and longevity of the Rocky Mountains snowpack, located downwind. We present initial results from a study that monitors sand transport and vegetation within a 0.2 km2 site in the Navajo lands, measuring the effects of drought on landscape stability since 2009. Sand mobility decreased substantially as 1 year with near-normal monsoon rainfall (2010) somewhat abated a decade-long drought, temporarily doubling vegetation cover. Vegetation that grew during 2010, with adequate rain, died off rapidly during dry conditions in 2011. Short-term increases in rainfall that promote annual, but not perennial, plant growth will not improve landscape stability in the long term. Climate projections suggest that a warmer, drier climate and potentially enhanced sediment supply from ephem- eral washes will further increase aeolian sand transport and dune activity, worsening the present challenges to people living in this region. Connections among climate, vegetation, and aeolian sediment erodibility in this region are highly relevant to other areas of the world with similar environmental problems.

  15. Sonic anemometers in aeolian sediment transport research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Boxel, J. H.; Sterk, G.; Arens, S. M.

    2004-04-01

    Fast-response wind and turbulence instruments, including sonic anemometers, are used more and more in aeolian sediment transport research. These instruments give information on mean wind, but also on fluctuations and turbulent statistics, such as the uw covariance, which is a direct measure of Reynolds' stress (RS) and friction velocity. This paper discusses the interpretation of sonic anemometer data, the transformations needed to get proper results and turbulence spectra, and how they are influenced by instrument size, sampling frequency, and measurement height. Turbulence spectra characterize how much the different frequencies in the turbulent signals contribute to the variance of wind speed, or to the covariance of horizontal and vertical wind speed. They are important in determining the measurement strategy when working with fast-response instruments, such as sonic anemometers, and are useful for interpreting the measurement results. Choices on the type of sonic anemometer, observation height, sampling period, sampling frequency, and filtering can be made on the basis of expected high and low-frequency losses in turbulent signals, which are affected by those variables, as well as wind speed and atmospheric stability. Friction velocity and RS, important variables in aeolian sediment transport research, are very sensitive to tilt or slope errors. During a field experiment, the slope sensitivity of the RS was established as 9% per degree of slope, which is 1.5 times the value reported in literature on the basis of theoretical considerations. An important reason for the difference probably is the large influence of streamline curvature on turbulence statistics and thereby on the slope sensitivity of the RS. An error of 9% per degree of slope in the RS will translate into an error of approximately 4% per degree of slope in the calculated friction velocity. Space-time correlation of the horizontal wind speed is much larger than that of the vertical wind speed and

  16. Aeolian sediment transport on a beach: Surface moisture, wind fetch, and mean transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, B. O.; Davidson-Arnott, R. G. D.; Hesp, P. A.; Namikas, S. L.; Ollerhead, J.; Walker, I. J.

    2009-04-01

    Temporal and spatial changes in wind speed, wind direction, and moisture content are ubiquitous across sandy coastal beaches. Often these factors interact in unknown ways to create complexity that confounds our ability to model sediment transport at any point across the beach as well as our capacity to predict sediment delivery into the adjacent foredunes. This study was designed to measure wind flow and sediment transport over a beach and foredune at Greenwich Dunes, Prince Edward Island National Park, with the express purpose of addressing these complex interactions. Detailed measurements are reported for one stormy day, October 11, 2004, during which meteorological conditions were highly variable. Wind speed ranged from 4 ms - 1 to over 20 ms - 1 , wind direction was highly oblique varying between 60° and 85° from shore perpendicular, and moisture content of the sand surface ranged from a minimum of about 3% (by mass) to complete saturation depending on precipitation, tidal excursion, and storm surge that progressively inundated the beach. The data indicate that short-term variations (i.e., minutes to hours) in sediment transport across this beach arise predominantly because of short-term changes in wind speed, as is expected, but also because of variations in wind direction, precipitation intensity, and tide level. Even slight increases in wind speed are capable of driving more intense saltation events, but this relationship is mediated by other factors on this characteristically narrow beach. As the angle of wind approach becomes more oblique, the fetch distance increases and allows greater opportunity for the saltation system to evolve toward an equilibrium transport state before reaching the foredunes. Whether the theoretically-predicted maximum rate of transport is ever achieved depends on the character of the sand surface (e.g., grain size, slope, roughness, vegetation, moisture content) and on various attributes of the wind field (e.g., average wind

  17. Use of coal ash for enhancing biocrust development in stabilizing sand dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaady, Eli; Katra, Itzhak; Sarig, Shlomo

    2015-04-01

    In dryland environments, biocrusts are considered ecosystem engineers since they play significant roles in ecosystem processes. In the successional pathway of crust communities, the new areas are colonized after disturbance by pioneers such as filamentous cyanobacteria - Microcoleus spp. This stage is followed by colonization of green algae, mosses, and lichens. Aggregation of soil granules is caused by metabolic polysaccharides secreted by cyanobacteria and green algae, gluing the soil particles to form the crust layer. It was suggested that incorporating dust into the biocrusts encourages the growth of cyanobacteria, leading to a strengthening of the biocrusts' cohesion. Moreover, biocrusts cover a larger portion of the surface when the soil contains finer particles, and it was observed that at least 4-5% of clay and silt is required to support a measurable biocrust. While natural and undisturbed sand dunes are generally stabilized by biocrusts in the north-western Negev desert, stabilization of disturbed and movable sand dunes is one of the main problems in this desertified land, as in vast areas in the world. Daily breezes and seasonal wind storms transport sand particles to populated and agricultural areas causing damages to field crops and livelihood. Moving sand dunes consist of relatively coarse grains (250-2000 μm) with a low percent of clay and silt. This phenomenon negatively affects cyanobacterial colonization rate, even in relatively wet desert areas (100-250 mm rainfalls). In order to face the problem it was suggested to enrich the dune surface by using coal fly-ash. The research was conducted in two stages: first, examining the feasibility in Petri-dishes in laboratory conditions and in Experimental Aeolian Greenhouse conditions. The results showed that adding coal fly-ash and biocrust inoculum increased aggregate stability, penetration resistance and shear strength, as opposed to the control-sand plot. Using mobile wind-tunnel simulations, sand

  18. Mulitple Origins of Sand Dune-Topography Interactions on Titan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goggin, H.; Ewing, R. C.; Hayes, A.; Cisneros, J.; Epps, J. C.

    2015-12-01

    The interaction between sand dune patterns and topographic obstacles is a primary signal of sand transport direction in the equatorial region of Saturn's moon, Titan. The streamlined, tear drop appearance of the sand-dune patterns as they wrap around obstacles and a dune-free zone on the east side of many obstacles gives the impression that sand transport is from the west to east at equatorial latitudes. However, the physical mechanism behind the dune-obstacle interaction is not well explained, leaving a gap in our understanding of the equatorial sand transport and implied wind directions and magnitudes on Titan. In order to better understand this interaction and evaluate wind and sand transport direction, we use morphometric analysis of optical images on Earth and Cassini SAR images on Titan combined with analog wind tunnel experiments to study dune-topography interactions. Image analysis is performed in a GIS environment to map spatial variations in dune crestline orientations proximal to obstacles. We also use digital elevation models to and analyze the three-dimensional geometry - height, length, width and slope of the dune-topography relationships on Earth. Preliminary results show that dune patterns are deflected similarly around positive, neutral, or negative topography, where positive topography is greater than the surrounding dune height, neutral topography is at dune height and negative topography is lower than dune heights. In the latter case these are typically intra-dune field playas. The obstacle height, width, slope and wind variability appear to play a primary role in determining if a lee-dune, rather than a dune-free lee-zone, develops. In many cases a dune-free playa with evaporite and mud desiccation polygons forms lee-ward of the obstacle. To support and elaborate on the mapping and spatial characterization of dune-topography interactions, a series of experiments using a wind tunnel were conducted. Wind tunnel experiments examine the formation

  19. Field, Laboratory and Imaging spectroscopic Analysis of Landslide, Debris Flow and Flood Hazards in Lacustrine, Aeolian and Alluvial Fan Deposits Surrounding the Salton Sea, Southern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, B. E.; Hooper, D. M.; Mars, J. C.

    2015-12-01

    High resolution satellite imagery, field spectral measurements using a portable ASD spectrometer, and 2013 hyperspectral AVIRIS imagery were used to evaluate the age of the Martinez Mountain Landslide (MML) near the Salton Sea, in order to determine the relative ages of adjacent alluvial fan surfaces and the potential for additional landslides, debris flows, and floods. The Salton Sea (SS) occupies a pluvial lake basin, with ancient shorelines ranging from 81 meters to 113 meters above the modern lake level. The highest shoreline overlaps the toe of the 0.24 - 0.38 km3 MML deposit derived from hydrothermally altered granites exposed near the summit of Martinez Mountain. The MML was originally believed to be of early Holocene age. However, AVIRIS mineral maps show abundant desert varnish on the top and toe of the landslide. Desert varnish can provide a means of relative dating of alluvial fan (AF) or landslide surfaces, as it accumulates at determinable rates over time. Based on the 1) highest levels of desert varnish accumulation mapped within the basin, 2) abundant evaporite playa minerals on top of the toe of the landslide, and 3) the highest shoreline of the ancestral lake overtopping the toe of the landslide with gastropod and bivalve shells, we conclude that the MML predates the oldest alluvial fan terraces and lake sediments exposed in the Coachella and Imperial valleys and must be older than early Holocene (i.e. Late Pleistocene?). Thus, the MML landslide has the potential to be used as a spectral endmember for desert varnish thickness and thus proxy for age discrimination of active AF washes versus desert pavements. Given the older age of the MML landslide and low water levels in the modern SS, the risk from future rockslides of this size and related seiches is rather low. However, catastrophic floods and debris flows do occur along the most active AF channels; and the aftermath of such flows can be identified spectrally by montmorillonite crusts forming in

  20. Aeolian Sand Transport in the Planetary Context: Respective Roles of Aerodynamic and Bed-Dilatancy Thresholds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, J. R.; Borucki, J.; Bratton, C.

    1999-09-01

    The traditional view of aeolian sand transport generally estimates flux from the perspective of aerodynamic forces creating the airborne grain population, although it has been recognized that "reptation" causes a significant part of the total airborne flux; reptation involves both ballistic injection of grains into the air stream by the impact of saltating grains as well as the "nudging" of surface grains into a creeping motion. Whilst aerodynamic forces may initiate sand motion, it is proposed here that within a fully-matured grain cloud, flux is actually governed by two thresholds: an aerodynamic threshold, and a bed-dilatancy threshold. It is the latter which controls the reptation population, and its significance increases proportionally with transport energy. Because we only have experience with terrestrial sand transport, extrapolations of aeolian theory to Mars and Venus have adjusted only the aerodynamic factor, taking gravitational forces and atmospheric density as the prime variables in the aerodynamic equations, but neglecting reptation. The basis for our perspective on the importance of reptation and bed dilatancy is a set of experiments that were designed to simulate sand transport across the surface of a martian dune. Using a modified sporting crossbow in which a sand-impelling sabot replaced the bolt-firing mechanism, individual grains of sand were fired at loose sand targets with glancing angles typical of saltation impact; grains were projected at about 80 m/s to simulate velocities commensurate with those predicted for extreme martian aeolian conditions. The sabot impelling method permitted study of individual impacts without the masking effect of bed mobilization encountered in wind-tunnel studies. At these martian impact velocities, grains produced small craters formed by the ejection of several hundred grains from the bed. Unexpectedly, the craters were not elongated, despite glancing impact; the craters were very close to circular in planform

  1. Aeolian Sand Transport in the Planetary Context: Respective Roles of Aerodynamic and Bed-Dilatancy Thresholds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marshall, J. R.; Borucki, J.; Bratton, C.

    1999-01-01

    The traditional view of aeolian sand transport generally estimates flux from the perspective of aerodynamic forces creating the airborne grain population, although it has been recognized that "reptation" causes a significant part of the total airborne flux; reptation involves both ballistic injection of grains into the air stream by the impact of saltating grains as well as the "nudging" of surface grains into a creeping motion. Whilst aerodynamic forces may initiate sand motion, it is proposed here that within a fully-matured grain cloud, flux is actually governed by two thresholds: an aerodynamic threshold, and a bed-dilatancy threshold. It is the latter which controls the reptation population, and its significance increases proportionally with transport energy. Because we only have experience with terrestrial sand transport, extrapolations of aeolian theory to Mars and Venus have adjusted only the aerodynamic factor, taking gravitational forces and atmospheric density as the prime variables in the aerodynamic equations, but neglecting reptation. The basis for our perspective on the importance of reptation and bed dilatancy is a set of experiments that were designed to simulate sand transport across the surface of a martian dune. Using a modified sporting crossbow in which a sand-impelling sabot replaced the bolt-firing mechanism, individual grains of sand were fired at loose sand targets with glancing angles typical of saltation impact; grains were projected at about 80 m/s to simulate velocities commensurate with those predicted for extreme martian aeolian conditions. The sabot impelling method permitted study of individual impacts without the masking effect of bed mobilization encountered in wind-tunnel studies. At these martian impact velocities, grains produced small craters formed by the ejection of several hundred grains from the bed. Unexpectedly, the craters were not elongated, despite glancing impact; the craters were very close to circular in planform

  2. Seedling emergence on Sonoran desert dunes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowers, Janice E.

    1996-01-01

    Seedling emergence of psammophiles (plants restricted to active dunes) was examined with germination experiments and with field observations at the Algodones Dunes, California, U.S.A., and the Sierra del Rosario Dunes, Sonora, Mexico. In the field, perennial psammophiles germinated in response to smaller rainfall triggers (??? 10mm) than other woody desert plants (??? 16mm). In germination experiments, seedlings of three perennial psammophiles, Astragalus magdalenae var. peirsonii, Helianthus niveus subsp. tephrodes, and Palafoxia arida var. gigantea, emerged in larger numbers from greater soil depths than those of three nonpsammophiles, Cercidium microphyllum, Fouquieria splendens, and Palafoxia arida var. arida. Seed size for these six species did not correlate in any consistent fashion with emergence depth, suggesting that food reserves are not the only variable that ensures emergence of deeply buried psammophile seeds.

  3. Spatial pattern of grain-size distribution in surface sediments as a result of variations in the aeolian environment in China's Shapotou railway protective system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jiaqiong; Zhang, Chunlai; Zhou, Na; Ma, Xiaojie

    2011-12-01

    China's Shapotou railway protective system provides effective protection against the region's mobile sands, but little quantitative evidence is available about how it affects the aeolian environment surrounding the railway. In the present study, we analyzed the grain-size distribution in surface sediments as a result of variations in the aeolian environment at different spatial scales: the scale of a cross-section of the protective system along the prevailing wind direction (from the northwest to southeast), of individual stabilized sand dunes in the area protected by straw checkerboards and unirrigated vegetation, of the area around individual plants in the protective system, and of individual straw checkerboards. Surface sediments were sampled to define the spatial pattern of the grain-size distribution at these four scales. Along the transect from the area of mobile dunes through the protective system, sediment particles became finer (silt and clay contents increased) and sorting decreased. This indicated that the protective system is a deposition-dominated aeolian environment, with sediment characteristics stabilizing with increasing distance inside the protected area. In such an environment, dune topographic relief also played an important role in determining the deposition pattern; the dune top is particularly fragile and subject to wind erosion if the straw checkerboards or planted vegetation are destroyed. The influences of the straw checkerboards and the plant canopies on the grain size of the surface sediments within a single checkerboard or near a single plant were limited. However, the combination of straw checkerboards and planted vegetation has synergistically produced a deposition-dominated aeolian environment.

  4. The birth and death of transverse aeolian ridges on Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Geissler, Paul E.

    2014-01-01

    Transverse aeolian ridges (TARs) are small bright windblown deposits found throughout the Martian tropics that stand a few meters tall and are spaced a few tens of meters apart. The origin of these features remains mysterious more than 20 years after their discovery on Mars. This paper presents a new hypothesis, that some of the TARs could be indurated dust deposits emplaced millions of years ago during periods of higher axial obliquity. It suggests that these TARs are primary depositional bed forms that accumulated in place from dust carried by the winds in suspension, perhaps in a manner comparable to antidunes on Earth, and were subsequently indurated and eroded to their current states by eons of sandblasting. It points out examples of modern dust drifts and dune-like features that appear to have been recently formed by dust accumulating directly onto the surface from atmospheric suspension. It shows how these pristine dust deposits could evolve to explain the range of morphologies of the TARs. Finally, it explains how the known properties of many TARs are consistent with this hypothesis, including their composition, thermal behavior, and distribution.

  5. Aeolian Processes at the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity Landing Site

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sullivan, R.; Bell, J. F., III; Calvin, W.; Fike, D.; Golombek, M.; Greeley, R.; Grotzinger, J.; Herkenhoff, K.; Jerolmack, D.; Malin, M.

    2005-01-01

    The traverse of the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity across its Meridiani Planum landing site has shown that wind has affected regolith by creating drifts, dunes, and ubiquitous ripples, by sorting grains during aeolian transport, by forming bright wind streaks downwind from craters seen from orbit, and by eroding rock with abrading, wind-blown material. Pre-landing orbiter observations showed bright and dark streaks tapering away from craters on the Meridiani plains. Further analysis of orbiter images shows that major dust storms can cause bright streak orientations in the area to alternate between NW and SE, implying bright wind streak materials encountered by Opportunity are transient, potentially mobilized deposits. Opportunity performed the first in situ investigation of a martian wind streak, focusing on a bright patch of material just outside the rim of Eagle crater. Data from Pancam, the Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES), the Alpha-Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS), and the Mossbauer spectrometer either are consistent with or permit an air fall dust interpretation. We conclude that air fall dust, deposited in the partial wind shadow of Eagle crater, is responsible for the bright streak seen from orbit, consistent with models involving patchy, discontinuous deposits of air fall dust distributed behind obstacles during periods of atmospheric thermal stability during major dust storms.

  6. Spectral behavior of gravel dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Jie; Wu, Teng; Zhong, Deyu

    2015-02-01

    Spectral behavior of gravel dunes formed under different flow discharges is analyzed with an attempt to verify the '- 3' spectral law that has been confirmed extensively for sand dunes. A schematic spectrum of gravel dunes is proposed based on the spectral analysis as well as results from the literature. The results of spectral analysis show a significant deviation from the '- 3' spectral law for gravel dunes, and the magnitude of deviation correlates with flow discharge. Possible explanations for the deviation from the '- 3' spectral law, being associated with kinetic and geometrical characteristics, have been explored. To investigate the kinetic characteristics of gravel dunes, a wavelet-based method that calculates the celerity of dunes based on a pair of elevational time series is quantitatively tested. Our results suggest that (1) the kinetic explanation based on the relationship between dune celerity and dune length cannot fully explain the spectral behavior of gravel dunes; (2) the geometrical explanation based on the self-similarity hypothesis is confirmed by the relationship between dune length and dune height; and (3) the development of gravel sheets accounts for the differences in kinetic and geometrical characteristics between gravel dunes and sand dunes.

  7. Variation and Distribution of Sediments in a Mixed Glacifluvial-Aeolian System in West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Austin, M. J.; Bullard, J. E.

    2007-12-01

    There is a clear association between the distribution of wind-blown sediments and the former extent of ice sheets and glaciers. Glacial erosion processes produce significant quantities of fine sediments that are washed out from beneath glaciers by meltwater. Once deposited and desiccated, aeolian processes may transport them across the landscape resulting in the formation of sand dunes and loess, and adding dust to the atmosphere. This research reports the use of digital imaging and laser sizing to obtain the grain size distribution and textural attributes of sand and dust in Sandflugtdalen, a valley adjacent to the West Greenland ice sheet. An initial assessment of the rates of sand and dust transport, made using semi-isokinetic directional sediment samplers, indicate that the flux of aeolian sediment comprises clays, silts and sand-sized particles. Digital imaging of the surficial sediment deposits provides a rapid means of sampling the large, spatially and temporally variable, proglacial valley. Sediments were initially photographed during June 2007 and then resampled after a 9-week interval. The grain size distribution and surface texture were computed using a calibrated autocorrelation method. It is estimated that individual particles may be resolved down to a size of 0.045 mm. The regions of aeolian entrainment, transport and deposition are directly linked to the development and distribution of sediments on the proglacial floodplain, which varies considerably in terms of surface roughness. On the floodplain close to the ice sheet, aeolian flux is controlled by sediment supply and lag formation and the total surface roughness is determined by the combination of grain-scale roughness and topography. Further down valley, recycling of sediments by aeolian and fluvial activity is significant and wind speed becomes an important controlling factor. Within the dunefields, surface roughness is principally determined by topography and vegetation. Close to the ice sheet

  8. Middle Pleistocene magnetostratigraphy and susceptibility stratigraphy: data from a carbonate aeolian system, Mallorca, Western Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, K. A.; Clemmensen, L. B.; Fornós, J. J.

    2004-09-01

    This study shows that successions of Pleistocene carbonate aeolian deposits can be placed successfully in a geochronologic framework using magnetostratigraphic and susceptibility stratigraphic analysis supplemented by luminescence dating, studies of wave-cut platforms, and biostratigraphic evidence. The investigated aeolian system covers a significant part of southernmost Mallorca and is exposed in impressive coastal cliff sections. At the study site at Els Bancals the aeolian system has a maximum thickness of 16 m and is composed of alternating dark red colluvial deposits and greyish red aeolian dune and sand-sheet deposits forming seven cyclostratigraphic units. Each cyclostratigraphic unit represents landscape stabilisation, colluviation, and soil formation followed by dunefield development, when marine carbonate sand was transported far inland by westerly or north-westerly winds. The aeolian system is located on top of a wave-cut marine platform 12-14 m a.s.l. This platform probably formed during a sea-level highstand in Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 (427-364 ka), and renewed marine activity probably later in MIS 11 is indicated by the formation of beach deposits. Two sections at Els Bancals were sampled for a paleomagnetic study; additional samples were taken to detect variations in magnetic susceptibility (MS). The characteristic remanent magnetisation has been recovered for the most part of the succession in spite of diagenetic overprinting. There is evidence for two probably three reversal polarity excursions, possible connected to the Levantine, CR1 and CR0/Biwa III episodes. If this correlation is correct, the sampled succession represents a time interval in the Middle Pleistocene between ca 410 and ca 260 ka. This age estimate is supported by the MS study and by luminescence dates of 333±70 ka (aeolianite from lower part of the succession) and 275±23 ka (aeolianite from the top of the succession). The nature of the succession suggests deposition during

  9. Behavior and identification of ephemeral sand dunes at the backshore zone using video images.

    PubMed

    Guimarães, Pedro V; Pereira, Pedro S; Calliari, Lauro J; Ellis, Jean T

    2016-09-01

    The backshore zone is transitional environment strongly affected by ocean, air and sand movements. On dissipative beaches, the formation of ephemeral dunes over the backshore zone plays significant contribution in the beach morphodynamics and sediment budget. The aim of this work is to describe a novel method to identify ephemeral dunes in the backshore region and to discuss their morphodynamic behavior. The beach morphology is identified using Argus video imagery, which reveals the behavior of morphologies at Cassino Beach, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. Daily images from 2005 to 2007, topographic profiles, meteorological data, and sedimentological parameters were used to determine the frequency and pervasiveness of these features on the backshore. Results indicated that coastline orientation relative to the dominant NE and E winds and the dissipative morphological beach state favored aeolian sand transport towards the backshore. Prevailing NE winds increase sand transportation to the backshore, resulting in the formation of barchans, transverse, and barchanoid-linguiod dunes. Precipitation inhibits aeolian transport and ephemeral dune formation and maintains the existing morphologies during strong SE and SW winds, provided the storm surge is not too high.

  10. Behavior and identification of ephemeral sand dunes at the backshore zone using video images.

    PubMed

    Guimarães, Pedro V; Pereira, Pedro S; Calliari, Lauro J; Ellis, Jean T

    2016-09-01

    The backshore zone is transitional environment strongly affected by ocean, air and sand movements. On dissipative beaches, the formation of ephemeral dunes over the backshore zone plays significant contribution in the beach morphodynamics and sediment budget. The aim of this work is to describe a novel method to identify ephemeral dunes in the backshore region and to discuss their morphodynamic behavior. The beach morphology is identified using Argus video imagery, which reveals the behavior of morphologies at Cassino Beach, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. Daily images from 2005 to 2007, topographic profiles, meteorological data, and sedimentological parameters were used to determine the frequency and pervasiveness of these features on the backshore. Results indicated that coastline orientation relative to the dominant NE and E winds and the dissipative morphological beach state favored aeolian sand transport towards the backshore. Prevailing NE winds increase sand transportation to the backshore, resulting in the formation of barchans, transverse, and barchanoid-linguiod dunes. Precipitation inhibits aeolian transport and ephemeral dune formation and maintains the existing morphologies during strong SE and SW winds, provided the storm surge is not too high. PMID:27598845

  11. Dunes of Herschel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    27 December 2004 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows dark, windblown sand dunes on the floor of Herschel Crater. The surfaces of the dunes have grooves eroded into them. This indicates that the sand is not loose, like it is in typical sand dunes on Earth. Instead, the sand is cemented, and wind erosion has been slowly scouring the indurated sands away to create small-scale wind erosion features, known as yardangs. This picture covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across, and is located near 15.6oS, 229.0oW. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the upper left.

  12. Spatial Patterns of Soil Organic Carbon and Total Nitrogen in Mesquite Coppice Dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebbs, L. M.; Throop, H. L.

    2008-12-01

    Woody encroachment, an increase in woody plant abundance in formerly grass-dominated ecosystems, has occurred in semi-arid and arid systems worldwide over the past century. Woody encroachment has emerged as a potentially important, but highly uncertain, component of the North American carbon sink. The effects of woody plant encroachment on soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) relative to Prosopis velutina have been explored in the Sonoran Desert, where strong spatial patterns in SOC and TN based on shrub size and subcanopy location exist. Encroachment of Prosopis glandulosa in sandy soils in the Chihuahuan Desert leads to coppice dune formation. We applied spatially-intensive soil sampling methods around P. glandulosa dunes in the Chihuahuan Desert to see how spatial patterns differed from patterns in the Sonoran Desert, where dunes do not form. Approximately 15 soil cores were taken from within and around each of 13 dunes and analyzed for bulk density, SOC, and TN. The aboveground biomass of P. glandulosa in coppice dunes was also collected for a comparison of aboveground biomass and SOC pools. Intercanopy soils had greater bulk density than soils within dunes (P<0.05), although bulk density did not vary predictably with dune size or with spatial position within each dune. No predictable within-dune SOC or TN patterns were found. Within-dune SOC and TN concentrations were significantly greater than intercanopy values (P<0.001 for both SOC and TN). There was a strong positive linear relationship between dune area and aboveground biomass (R2=0.662, P<0.007). These relationships can be used to predict SOC, TN, and aboveground biomass in coppice dunes. In contrast to patterns in the Sonoran Desert with P. velutina, predicting SOC and TN in the P. glandulosa coppice dunes does not require information on individual dune size or spatial position. The differences in SOC and TN accumulation patterns beneath P. velutina and P. glandulosa may result from

  13. Dune Exploration: Mars Allegories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zahnle, K.; Sleep, N. H.; Abe, Y.; Abe-Ouchi, A.

    2005-12-01

    We know of one factual habitable planet, although other factual planets can be imagined as habitable. Sometimes the allegory is obvious. E.g., H. G. Wells imagined Martians exterminating humans as an allegory to Englishmen exterminating the Tasmanian aborigines, whilst Percival Lowell saw the global network of Martian canals as a world civilization that had progressed beyond war. But most habitable planets are overtly fictional. The planet properly known as Arrakis and colloquially known as Dune (Herbert 1965) provides an exceptionally well-developed example of a fictional habitable planet. In its particulars Dune resembles a warmer Mars with a breathable oxygen atmosphere. Like Mars, Dune is now a parched desert planet but there are signs that water flowed in the prehistoric past. Dune has small water ice caps at the poles and more extensive deep polar aquifers. The tropics are exceedingly dry but the polar regions are cool and moist enough to have morning dew. Dune is sparsely inhabited by a mix of indigenous and terran flora and fauna. The fictional Dune asks us to consider how much water is enough, why does oxygen accumulate in an atmosphere, and what actually sets the inner edge to the habitable zone. The inner edge of the habitable zone is conventionally set by the onset of the runaway greenhouse effect. The runaway greenhouse occurs when there is enough water vapor in the atmosphere to lift the planet's thermal photosphere off the ground. For a wet planet the mapping between saturation, temperature and optical depth is unique; together these set an upper limit on the rate the amount of thermal radiation that the planet can emit and still maintain a humid atmosphere. A dry atmosphere has a lower opacity for a given temperature, other things equal. With its vast dry equatorial deserts, a habitable Dune can radiate at a significantly higher effective temperature than a wet planet, and so it can provide an abode for life significantly closer to its sun. We use

  14. Sand Dunes in Hellas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-537, 7 November 2003

    The smooth, rounded mounds in this Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) picture are sand dunes. The scene is located in southern Hellas Planitia and was acquired in mid-southern autumn, the ideal time of year for Hellas imaging. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the upper left. These dunes are located near 49.1oS, 292.6oW. The picture covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide.

  15. Sand Dunes with Frost

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    9 May 2004 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a suite of frost-covered sand dunes in the north polar region of Mars in early spring, 2004. The dunes indicate wind transport of sand from left to right (west to east). These landforms are located near 78.1oN, 220.8oW. This picture is illuminated by sunlight from the lower left and covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across.

  16. Potential of Probing the Lunar Regolith using Rover-Mounted Ground Penetrating Radar: Moses Lake Dune Field Analog Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Horz, F.; Heggy, E.; Fong, T.; Kring, D.; Deans, M.; Anglade, A.; Mahiouz, K.; Bualat, M.; Lee, P.; Bluethmann, W.

    2009-01-01

    Probing radars have been widely recognized by the science community to be an efficient tool to explore lunar subsurface providing a unique capability to address several scientific and operational issues. A wideband (200 to 1200 MHz) Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) mounted on a surface rover can provide high vertical resolution and probing depth from few tens of centimeters to few tens of meters depending on the sounding frequency and the ground conductivity. This in term can provide a better understand regolith thickness, elemental iron concentration (including ilmenite), volatile presence, structural anomalies and fracturing. All those objectives are of important significance for understanding the local geology and potential sustainable resources for future landing sites in particular exploring the thickness, structural heterogeneity and potential volatiles presence in the lunar regolith. While the operation and data collection of GPR is a straightforward case for most terrestrial surveys, it is a challenging task for remote planetary study especially on robotic platforms due to the complexity of remote operation in rough terrains and the data collection constrains imposed by the mechanical motion of the rover and limitation in data transfer. Nevertheless, Rover mounted GPR can be of great support to perform systematic subsurface surveys for a given landing site as it can provide scientific and operational support in exploring subsurface resources and sample collections which can increase the efficiency of the EVA activities for potential human crews as part of the NASA Constellation Program. In this study we attempt to explore the operational challenges and their impact on the EVA scientific return for operating a rover mounted GPR in support of potential human activity on the moon. In this first field study, we mainly focused on the ability of GPR to support subsurface sample collection and explore shallow subsurface volatiles.

  17. Evaluation of a new model of aeolian transport in the presence of vegetation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Li, Junran; Okin, Gregory S.; Herrick, Jeffrey E.; Belnap, Jayne; Miller, Mark E.; Vest, Kimberly; Draut, Amy E.

    2013-01-01

    Aeolian transport is an important characteristic of many arid and semiarid regions worldwide that affects dust emission and ecosystem processes. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate a recent model of aeolian transport in the presence of vegetation. This approach differs from previous models by accounting for how vegetation affects the distribution of shear velocity on the surface rather than merely calculating the average effect of vegetation on surface shear velocity or simply using empirical relationships. Vegetation, soil, and meteorological data at 65 field sites with measurements of horizontal aeolian flux were collected from the Western United States. Measured fluxes were tested against modeled values to evaluate model performance, to obtain a set of optimum model parameters, and to estimate the uncertainty in these parameters. The same field data were used to model horizontal aeolian flux using three other schemes. Our results show that the model can predict horizontal aeolian flux with an approximate relative error of 2.1 and that further empirical corrections can reduce the approximate relative error to 1.0. The level of error is within what would be expected given uncertainties in threshold shear velocity and wind speed at our sites. The model outperforms the alternative schemes both in terms of approximate relative error and the number of sites at which threshold shear velocity was exceeded. These results lend support to an understanding of the physics of aeolian transport in which (1) vegetation's impact on transport is dependent upon the distribution of vegetation rather than merely its average lateral cover and (2) vegetation impacts surface shear stress locally by depressing it in the immediate lee of plants rather than by changing the bulk surface's threshold shear velocity. Our results also suggest that threshold shear velocity is exceeded more than might be estimated by single measurements of threshold shear stress and roughness length

  18. Evaluation of a new model of aeolian transport in the presence of vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Junran; Okin, Gregory S.; Herrick, Jeffrey E.; Belnap, Jayne; Miller, Mark E.; Vest, Kimberly; Draut, Amy E.

    2013-03-01

    Aeolian transport is an important characteristic of many arid and semiarid regions worldwide that affects dust emission and ecosystem processes. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate a recent model of aeolian transport in the presence of vegetation. This approach differs from previous models by accounting for how vegetation affects the distribution of shear velocity on the surface rather than merely calculating the average effect of vegetation on surface shear velocity or simply using empirical relationships. Vegetation, soil, and meteorological data at 65 field sites with measurements of horizontal aeolian flux were collected from the Western United States. Measured fluxes were tested against modeled values to evaluate model performance, to obtain a set of optimum model parameters, and to estimate the uncertainty in these parameters. The same field data were used to model horizontal aeolian flux using three other schemes. Our results show that the model can predict horizontal aeolian flux with an approximate relative error of 2.1 and that further empirical corrections can reduce the approximate relative error to 1.0. The level of error is within what would be expected given uncertainties in threshold shear velocity and wind speed at our sites. The model outperforms the alternative schemes both in terms of approximate relative error and the number of sites at which threshold shear velocity was exceeded. These results lend support to an understanding of the physics of aeolian transport in which (1) vegetation's impact on transport is dependent upon the distribution of vegetation rather than merely its average lateral cover and (2) vegetation impacts surface shear stress locally by depressing it in the immediate lee of plants rather than by changing the bulk surface's threshold shear velocity. Our results also suggest that threshold shear velocity is exceeded more than might be estimated by single measurements of threshold shear stress and roughness length

  19. Hematite Outlier and Sand Dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    Released 4 December 2003

    This image shows a crater just south of the edge of the famous hematite-bearing surface, which is visible in the context image as a smooth area to the north. The crater has two features of immediate note. The first is a layered mound in the north part of the crater floor. This mound contains hematite, and it is an outlying remnant of the greater deposits to the north that have otherwise completely disappeared in this crater. The second feature is a dune field in the center of the crater floor, with dark dunes indicating winds from the northwest. The dunes grade into a dark sand sheet with no coherent structure, indicating that the sand layer thins out to the south and east.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -4.4, Longitude 357.3 East (2.7 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

  20. Frost-covered dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    MOC image of dunes in Chasma Boreale, a giant trough in the north polar cap. This September 1998 view shows dark sand emergent from beneath a veneer of bright frost left over from the northern winter that ended in July 1998.

  1. Roughness configuration matters for aeolian sediment flux

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The parameterisation of surface roughness effects on aeolian sediment transport is a key source of uncertainty in wind erosion models. Roughness effects are typically represented by bulk drag-partitioning schemes that scale the threshold friction velocity (u*t) for soil entrainment by the ratio of s...

  2. Flood Induced Increases in Aeolian Transport Along the Missouri River

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benthem, A. J.; Strong, L.; Schenk, E.; Skalak, K.; Hupp, C. R.; Galloway, J.

    2014-12-01

    In 2011, heavy winter snow melt combined with extensive spring rains caused the Missouri River to experience the most extensive flooding since the river was dammed in the 1950s. Large sections of the river banks, islands, and floodplains experienced weeks of prolonged inundation, resulting in extensive sand deposition as up to1 km inland from the established channel. Though locally variable, deposits of up to 3m of loose sand were deposited on the floodplain and extensive areas of shrub, grasslands, and agricultural fields were completely buried or had vegetation washed away in the inundation zone. The flooding also created a number of new unvegetated islands which provide important habitat for endangered species including the Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus). These newly created sand surfaces are unconsolidated and have very little vegetation to prevent aeolian transport. Strong sustained regional winds of up to 20m/s (45mph) cause substantial sediment fluxes which modify landscape topography, shift river morphology, and increase regional dust levels. Our study monitors and quantifies the increase in aeolian transport that occurred following flooding along the Garrison Reach, a 110 km section of free flowing Missouri River in North Dakota. In 2012 and 2013 we measured sand transport and accumulation rates using Leatherman style sand traps and erosion pins to at 9 sites of varying vegetation densities. We apply these flux rates to a high resolution remote sensing vegetation map to estimate the total flux of sand for this segment of the river. We also quantify total available new sand for transport using repeat Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) coverage from before and after the flood and examine the relationship between sand deposition and the rate of reestablishment of vegetation. All of these results are used to estimate the scale of flood induced aeolian processes and predict where they may continue to influence the landscape.

  3. The origin of transverse instability of aeolian megaripples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yizhaq, Hezi; Katra, Itzhak; Schmerler, Erez; Silvestro, Simone

    2016-04-01

    Two different kinds of sand ripples, normal ripples and megaripples which differ in their sizes, grain-size compositions and morphology are observed in nature. While normal ripples form almost straight lines, megaripples have greater sinuosity due to their transverse instability, a property that causes small undulations to grow in time. The physical origin of this pronounced transverse instability has remained elusive. We studied ripple development in a series of wind tunnel experiments with different mixtures of sand. For unimodal fine sand, initial differences in height diminished in time leading to straight ripples. In contrast, for bimodal sand initial perturbations in height remained and even grew in time resulting in more wavy patterns. The results indicate that the differences in sinuosity between normal and megaripples are due to grain size segregation at three dimensions with a positive feedback between coarse grains and ripples height. The accumulations of coarse particles at the crest allow further growth of the ripples at these locations thus decreasing their migration rate. This in turn allows further accumulation of coarse grains. This mechanism leads to variations of the thickness of the armoring layer along the ripple crest which correlates with crest height. Field measurements of grain size distribution and sinuosity index along megaripple crests support the findings. In addition, the sinuosity of megaripples and TARs (Transverse Aeolian Ridges) on Mars at several locations was calculated from images taken from High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE). These images provide the capability of obtaining orbital images of Mars with a resolution down to 25 cm/pixel. The preliminary results show that due to their bimodal grain-size distribution megaripples are more undulated than TARs. This new look at aeolian bedforms on Mars can help in a better classification of them and improve the understanding of the aeolian processes involved in their

  4. The Icelandic volcanic aeolian environment: Processes and impacts - A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnalds, Olafur; Dagsson-Waldhauserova, Pavla; Olafsson, Haraldur

    2016-03-01

    Iceland has the largest area of volcaniclastic sandy desert on Earth or 22,000 km2. The sand has been mostly produced by glacio-fluvial processes, leaving behind fine-grained unstable sediments which are later re-distributed by repeated aeolian events. Volcanic eruptions add to this pool of unstable sediments, often from subglacial eruptions. Icelandic desert surfaces are divided into sand fields, sandy lavas and sandy lag gravel, each with separate aeolian surface characteristics such as threshold velocities. Storms are frequent due to Iceland's location on the North Atlantic Storm track. Dry winds occur on the leeward sides of mountains and glaciers, in spite of the high moisture content of the Atlantic cyclones. Surface winds often move hundreds to more than 1000 kg m-1 per annum, and more than 10,000 kg m-1 have been measured in a single storm. Desertification occurs when aeolian processes push sand fronts and have thus destroyed many previously fully vegetated ecosystems since the time of the settlement of Iceland in the late ninth century. There are about 135 dust events per annum, ranging from minor storms to >300,000 t of dust emitted in single storms. Dust production is on the order of 30-40 million tons annually, some traveling over 1000 km and deposited on land and sea. Dust deposited on deserts tends to be re-suspended during subsequent storms. High PM10 concentrations occur during major dust storms. They are more frequent in the wake of volcanic eruptions, such as after the Eyjafjallajökull 2010 eruption. Airborne dust affects human health, with negative effects enhanced by the tubular morphology of the grains, and the basaltic composition with its high metal content. Dust deposition on snow and glaciers intensifies melting. Moreover, the dust production probably also influences atmospheric conditions and parameters that affect climate change.

  5. Multi-Resolution Analysis of LiDAR data for Characterizing a Stabilized Aeolian Landscape in South Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrineau, C. P.; Dobreva, I. D.; Bishop, M. P.; Houser, C.

    2014-12-01

    Aeolian systems are ideal natural laboratories for examining self-organization in patterned landscapes, as certain wind regimes generate certain morphologies. Topographic information and scale dependent analysis offer the opportunity to study such systems and characterize process-form relationships. A statistically based methodology for differentiating aeolian features would enable the quantitative association of certain surface characteristics with certain morphodynamic regimes. We conducted a multi-resolution analysis of LiDAR elevation data to assess scale-dependent morphometric variations in an aeolian landscape in South Texas. For each pixel, mean elevation values are calculated along concentric circles moving outward at 100-meter intervals (i.e. 500 m, 600 m, 700 m from pixel). The calculated average elevation values plotted against distance from the pixel of interest as curves are used to differentiate multi-scalar variations in elevation across the landscape. In this case, it is hypothesized these curves may be used to quantitatively differentiate certain morphometries from others like a spectral signature may be used to classify paved surfaces from natural vegetation, for example. After generating multi-resolution curves for all the pixels in a selected area of interest (AOI), a Principal Components Analysis is used to highlight commonalities and singularities between generated curves from pixels across the AOI. Our findings suggest that the resulting components could be used for identification of discrete aeolian features like open sands, trailing ridges and active dune crests, and, in particular, zones of deflation. This new approach to landscape characterization not only works to mitigate bias introduced when researchers must select training pixels for morphometric investigations, but can also reveal patterning in aeolian landscapes that would not be as obvious without quantitative characterization.

  6. Anatomy of an ancient aeolian sandstone on Mars: the Stimson formation, Gale crater, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Sanjeev; Banham, Steven; Rubin, David; Watkins, Jessica; Sumner, Dawn; Grotzinger, John P.; Lewis, Kevin; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Edgar, Lauren; Stack, Kathryn; Day, McKenzie; Ewing, Ryan; Lapotre, Mathieu

    2016-10-01

    Since landing in 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory's (MSL) rover Curiosity has traversed the plains and foothills of Aeolis Mons (informally known as Mt. Sharp) investigating the environments preserved in the stratigraphic record of Gale crater. Recently, the Curiosity team has been investigating the Stimson formation, a sandstone exhibiting abundant crossbedding that drapes the underlying Murray formation mudstones. The contact between the Stimson and underlying Murray formation exhibits several meters relief over several 100 m hundred metres where encountered thus far. The Stimson is observed to onlap onto this contact, indicating that accumulating Stimson sandstones unconformably onlapped or buried local palaeotopography.Facies and architectural elements observed within the Stimson are interpreted to represent deposition within an ancient dune field. The Stimson formation is typically composed of decimeter-scale and meter-scale crossbedded sandstones, (exhibiting wind-ripple lamination and well rounded particles up to granule size). Architectural elements are visible in outcrops oriented perpendicular to the regional northwest dip. These consist of undulating surfaces parallel to the regional dip with observed lateral extents up to 30 m that truncate underlying cross-sets and commonly act as basal surfaces to overlying cross-sets. Undulating surfaces are interpreted possibly to be deflationary supersurfaces, which formed in response to deflation or dune-field stabilisation across a regional extent. Surfaces inclined relative to the regional dip ascend between supersurfaces towards the north east at an observed angle of 3-4°. These surfaces are interpreted to be dune bounding surfaces, which are preserved when dunes climb as a result of dune-field aggradation. Aggradation of the system during the duration of the dune field's existence possibly occurred as a response to episodic increases of sediment supply into the basin, allowing dunes to climb and preserving

  7. Two-dimensional airflow modeling underpredicts the wind velocity over dunes.

    PubMed

    Michelsen, Britt; Strobl, Severin; Parteli, Eric J R; Pöschel, Thorsten

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the average turbulent wind field over a barchan dune by means of Computational Fluid Dynamics. We find that the fractional speed-up ratio of the wind velocity over the three-dimensional barchan shape differs from the one obtained from two-dimensional calculations of the airflow over the longitudinal cut along the dune's symmetry axis - that is, over the equivalent transverse dune of same size. This finding suggests that the modeling of the airflow over the central slice of barchan dunes is insufficient for the purpose of the quantitative description of barchan dune dynamics as three-dimensional flow effects cannot be neglected. PMID:26572966

  8. Municipal initiatives for managing dunes in coastal residential areas: a case study of Avalon, New Jersey, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nordstrom, Karl F.; Jackson, Nancy L.; Bruno, Michael S.; de Butts, Harry A.

    2002-10-01

    The characteristics of foredunes created in a municipal management program on a developed barrier island are evaluated to identify how landforms used as protection structures can be natural in appearance and function yet compatible with human values. Shoreline management zones include a naturally evolving, undeveloped segment; a noneroding, developed segment; eroding and noneroding segments of an "improved beach" where dunes have been built by artificial nourishment; and a privately built, artificially nourished dune on the shoreline of an inlet. A disastrous storm in 1962 resulted in an aggressive program for building dunes using sand fences, vegetation plantings, purchase of undeveloped lots, and sediment backpassing to maintain beach widths and dune elevations. The present nourished and shaped foredune in the improved beach is higher, wider, and closer to the berm crest than the natural dune. Restricted inputs of aeolian sand keep the surface flat and poorly vegetated. A stable section of this engineered shore has a wider beach, and sand fences have created a higher foredune with greater topographic diversity. The cross shore zonation of vegetation here is more typical of natural dunes, but the environmental gradient is much narrower. The privately built dune is low, narrow, and located where it could not be created naturally. Foreshore and aeolian sediments in the undeveloped segment and the improved beach are similar in mean grain size (0.16-0.21 mm) and sorting (0.31-0.39 φ), but sediment on the surface of the nourished dune is coarser (28.1% gravel) with a more poorly sorted sand fraction (1.30 φ) representing lag elements on the deflation surface. Willingness to enhance beaches and dunes for protection has reduced insurance premiums and allowed the municipality to qualify for funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to replace lost sediment, thus placing an economic value on dunes. Success of the management program is attributed to: (i

  9. Assessing significant geomorphic changes and effectiveness of dynamic restoration in a coastal dune ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Ian J.; Eamer, Jordan B. R.; Darke, Ian B.

    2013-10-01

    A shift from restoring coastal dunes as stabilized landscapes toward more morphodynamic ecosystems is underway. This paper uses results from a recent case study where invasive vegetation was removed from a coastal dune complex in western Canada as a first step in a dynamic ecosystem restoration project. Spatial statistical methods, used in the natural sciences to quantify patterns of significant spatial-temporal changes, are reviewed and the local Moran's Ii spatial autocorrelation statistic is explored for detecting and assessing significant changes. Cluster maps of positive (depositional) and negative (erosional) changes were used to derive statistically significant volumetric changes within discrete geomorphic units (beach, foredune, transgressive dune) over one year following vegetation removal. All units experienced net increases in sediment budgets compared to a pre-restoration surface. The beach experienced the highest episodic erosion and volumetric change and greatest net annual sediment budget. Compared to the beach, the annual sediment budget of the foredune was 19% whereas the transgressive dune was 33%. The foredune recovered rapidly to initial erosion during restoration and subsequent natural events with consistently positive sediment volumes and attained a form similar to that pre-restoration. Aeolian deflation and sand bypassing through the foredune was greatest in the two months following vegetation removal and peak accretion in the transgressive dune resulted from depositional lobes extending from the foredune, smaller dunes migrating within the complex, and growth of a precipitation ridge along the eastern margin. Several methodological and logistical considerations for detecting significant change in dynamic dune landscapes are discussed including sampling strategy design, data normalization and control measures, and incorporating uncertainty and inherent spatial relations within acquired datasets to ensure accuracy and comparability of results

  10. Dynamic monitoring of avalanches and barchan dune morphology change at different timescales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nield, Joanna; Wiggs, Giles; Baddock, Matthew; Hipondoka, Martin

    2016-04-01

    Aeolian dune morphology responds dynamically to changing wind conditions. The lee slope avalanche dynamics of dunes are particularly sensitive to prior morphological conditions as well as the varying intensity and duration characteristics of sand transport events. Here we use terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) to measure dune surface change over minutes, hours, a week and a year during conditions of variable approach flow resulting in considerable lee slope reworking. Several different avalanche patterns are recognised that can be related to slope characteristics, wind direction and slope reworking. We find that during oblique winds, horn reworking can reduce the lee slope angle. When the dominant, formative winds of the barchan return, the reworked lee slope, perpendicular to the prior oblique wind, takes longer to start avalanching. In the central region of the dune, avalanche frequency and the extent of lee slope reworking depends on wind speed. Under high winds from the dominant direction, there is continual erosion near the dune brink central area, due to the exceedance of a critical angle of repose, whilst under weaker winds the frequency of grainfall sedimentation and avalanches diminishes and net deposition in the brink area is more common. During the week of measurements, changes to the crest-brink area and lee slope form are considerable, based on the reworking of the slope by avalanche events, and this ultimately influences the dune migration rate. Over the course of a year, we demonstrate that the shape of the barchan stoss and lee slopes can change significantly, whilst the overall dune size and general planform is maintained. Our findings help elucidate dune mobility mechanics and pattern modifications at the wind storm event scale.

  11. Movement of Whole Martian Dunes Difficult to Detect or Confirm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    of less than 20 meters (66 ft) in 11 martian years (nearly 22 Earth years) is slower than some dunes of similar size and shape on Earth. Thus, it appears that martian dunes are not 'experiencing' the level of activity commonly reported for some of the modern desert dunes found on Earth. The dune field illustrated in these pictures is located in a western Arabia Terra crater at 1.6oN, 351.6oW. Both the Viking and MOC images are illuminated from the left.

  12. Underground physics with DUNE

    DOE PAGES

    Kudryavtsev, Vitaly A.

    2016-01-01

    The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) is a project to design, construct and operate a next-generation long-baseline neutrino detector with a liquid argon (LAr) target capable also of searching for proton decay and supernova neutrinos. It is a merger of previous efforts of the LBNE and LBNO collaborations, as well as other interested parties to pursue a broad programme with a staged 40-kt LAr detector at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) 1300 km from Fermilab. This programme includes studies of neutrino oscillations with a powerful neutrino beam from Fermilab, as well as proton decay and supernova neutrino burst searches.more » In this study, we will focus on the underground physics with DUNE.« less

  13. Underground physics with DUNE

    SciTech Connect

    Kudryavtsev, Vitaly A.

    2016-01-01

    The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) is a project to design, construct and operate a next-generation long-baseline neutrino detector with a liquid argon (LAr) target capable also of searching for proton decay and supernova neutrinos. It is a merger of previous efforts of the LBNE and LBNO collaborations, as well as other interested parties to pursue a broad programme with a staged 40-kt LAr detector at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) 1300 km from Fermilab. This programme includes studies of neutrino oscillations with a powerful neutrino beam from Fermilab, as well as proton decay and supernova neutrino burst searches. In this study, we will focus on the underground physics with DUNE.

  14. Layer Outcrops and Dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-561, 1 December 2003

    This October 2003 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) picture shows dark, windblown sand dunes amid outcrops of light-toned, sedimentary rock in a crater in western Arabia Terra. The darkest material in the scene is windblown sand; the steep slopes--the slip faces--of the dunes face toward the southwest (lower left), indicating that wind transport of sand has been from the northeast (upper right). The layered mounds are the remains of sedimentary rock that were once more extensive across this crater floor. The image is located near 8.9oN, 1.2oW, and covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

  15. Origin and lateral migration of linear dunes in the Qaidam Basin of NW China revealed by dune sediments, internal structures, and optically stimulated luminescence ages, with implications for linear dunes on Titan: discussion

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rubin, David M.; Rubin, Alan M.

    2013-01-01

    Zhou et al. (2012) proposed that longitudinal dunes in the Qaidam Basin, China, formed like yardangs: by erosion into sediment that was not deposited by those dunes. Because erosion occurs on the upwind flanks of most migrating dunes (Rubin and Hunter, 1982, 1985), the key to demonstrating a yardang-like origin is to show that the dunes did not deposit the strata that they contain. Zhou et al. made this argument by proposing that: (1) The dunes have not deposited cross-strata in the past 810 yr. (2) Cross-bedding within the dunes was not deposited by the dunes on the present-day land surface, but rather by older dunes that had a different morphology. (3) The present dunes are a later generation, “most likely of erosional origin similar to yardangs with orientations controlled by strikes of joints,” (p. 1147). (4) Rates of deflation in the dune field have been extremely high for the past 810–2440 yr. This commentary reviews these conclusions, reviews contradictory observations, and considers alternative interpretations.

  16. Frost-free Dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Context image for PIA03291 Frost-free Dunes

    These dark dunes are frost covered for most of the year. As southern summer draws to a close, the dunes have been completely defrosted.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -66.6N, Longitude 37.0E. 34 meter/pixel resolution.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

  17. Discrete Element Method simulations of the saturation of aeolian sand transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pähtz, Thomas; Omeradžić, Amir; Carneiro, Marcus V.; Araújo, Nuno A. M.; Herrmann, Hans J.

    2015-03-01

    The saturation length of aeolian sand transport (Ls), characterizing the distance needed by wind-blown sand to adapt to changes in the wind shear, is essential for accurate modeling of the morphodynamics of Earth's sandy landscapes and for explaining the formation and shape of sand dunes. In the last decade, it has become a widely accepted hypothesis that Ls is proportional to the characteristic distance needed by transported particles to reach the wind speed (the "drag length"). Here we challenge this hypothesis. From extensive numerical Discrete Element Method simulations, we find that, for medium and strong winds, Ls∝Vs2/g, where Vs is the saturated value of the average speed of sand particles traveling above the surface and g is the gravitational constant. We show that this proportionality is consistent with a recent analytical model, in which the drag length is just one of four similarly important length scales relevant for sand transport saturation.

  18. Sedimentology of coastal chevron deposits - tsunamigenic versus aeolian origin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia Garcia, A.; Spiske, M.; Tsukamoto, S.; Schmidt, V.

    2012-12-01

    The genesis of v-shaped coastal chevrons is currently controversially discussed. So far, chevrons are only described regarding their morphology, but not in terms of their origin. Two possible origins of chevrons are proposed: both aeolian transport and tsunami inundation are discussed as depositing processes. We present initial results of a detailed sedimentological survey of Holocene coastal chevrons from the American and Australian west coasts. The chevrons were measured and levelled using a differential GPS system. Large scale internal structures were recorded by ground penetrating radar imaging. Trenches were dug for sampling and analyzing small scale internal structures. The sediment samples were used for the analysis of grain-size distributions, mineral composition and content of marine microorganisms. Additional samples were taken for optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and radiocarbon dating. Furthermore, we took reference samples from beaches, cliffs and rivers, which could act as potential sediment sources for the surveyed chevrons. Tsunami deposits are commonly polymodal, exhibit a grain-size decrease and tend to show better sorting in landward direction. Such trends are not present in the surveyed chevrons. Most samples are well to moderately well sorted and unimodal. The OSL ages decrease in transport direction and indicate a long term generation process, such as dune migration, rather than a short term event like a tsunami. This fact is additionally underlined by land snails found in different stratigraphic levels within the Australian chevrons. Furthermore, the occurrence of intercalated soil horizons implies a change of stable and active migration phases. The initial results of this study point out to an aoelian origin of coastal chevrons and do not support the previously supposed thesis of a tsunamigenic origin.

  19. The Origin of Transverse Aeolian Ridges on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geissler, P.

    2015-12-01

    Transverse aeolian ridges, or TARs, are found throughout the tropics of Mars and typically appear as rows of bright ripples that are several meters tall and spaced semi-regularly several tens of meters apart. The origin of these features remained mysterious for decades after their discovery in Viking and Mars Global Surveyor images. A new hypothesis (Geissler, 2014, 10.1002-2014JE004633) suggests that TARs might be deposits left behind by dusty turbidity currents in the Martian atmosphere. The hypothesis assumes that the micron-sized dust particles are transported in suspension in turbulent flows, driven both by the winds and by gravity. The dust is concentrated near the surface, much like turbidity currents on Earth. Because of the difference in density, however, the dust clouds behave as a fluid distinct from the clear sky above. In particular, waves can appear at the surface of the dense "fluid" when the flows encounter topographic obstacles along their paths. Such gravity waves travel at speeds that are determined by gravity and the thickness of the flow, much like waves in shallow water on Earth. When the wave propagation speed matches the speed of the flow, stationary waves are produced that persist in fixed locations. The bedforms deposited by such stationary waves are called "antidunes" (Gilbert, 1914, USGS Prof. Paper 86) because, unlike dunes, they can migrate upstream in a supercritical flow. Antidunes are commonly seen in shallow, high energy fluvial deposits on Earth. They are usually destroyed as quickly as they form, and are rarely preserved. The Martian TARs survive because the dust is sticky; TARs are deposited by currents that are much slower than the wind speeds needed to lift the dust again. Subaerial antidunes are much rarer on Earth and less well studied, and so the giant subaerial stationary antidunes of Mars, if that is what the TARs turn out to be, may teach us much about a geological process that is poorly known on our planet.

  20. Comment on "Minimal size of a barchan dune".

    PubMed

    Andreotti, B; Claudin, P

    2007-12-01

    It is now an accepted fact that the size at which dunes form from a flat sand bed as well as their "minimal size" scales on the flux saturation length. This length is by definition the relaxation length of the slowest mode toward equilibrium transport. The model presented by Parteli, Durán, and Herrmann [Phys. Rev. E 75, 011301 (2007)] predicts that the saturation length decreases to zero as the inverse of the wind shear stress far from the threshold. We first show that their model is not self-consistent: even under large wind, the relaxation rate is limited by grain inertia and thus cannot decrease to zero. A key argument presented by these authors comes from the discussion of the typical dune wavelength on Mars (650 m) on the basis of which they refute the scaling of the dune size with the drag length evidenced by Claudin and Andreotti [Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 252, 30 (2006)]. They instead propose that Martian dunes, composed of large grains (500 microm), were formed in the past under very strong winds. We emphasize that this saltating grain size, estimated from thermal diffusion measurements, is far from straightforward. Moreover, the microscopic photographs taken by the rovers on Martian Aeolian bedforms show a grain size of 87+/-25 microm together with hematite spherules at millimeter scale. As those so-called "blueberries" cannot be entrained more frequently than a few hours per century, we conclude that the saltating grains on Mars are the small ones, which gives a second strong argument against the model of Parteli. PMID:18233886

  1. Comment on ``Minimal size of a barchan dune''

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreotti, B.; Claudin, P.

    2007-12-01

    It is now an accepted fact that the size at which dunes form from a flat sand bed as well as their “minimal size” scales on the flux saturation length. This length is by definition the relaxation length of the slowest mode toward equilibrium transport. The model presented by Parteli, Durán, and Herrmann [Phys. Rev. E 75, 011301 (2007)] predicts that the saturation length decreases to zero as the inverse of the wind shear stress far from the threshold. We first show that their model is not self-consistent: even under large wind, the relaxation rate is limited by grain inertia and thus cannot decrease to zero. A key argument presented by these authors comes from the discussion of the typical dune wavelength on Mars (650 m) on the basis of which they refute the scaling of the dune size with the drag length evidenced by Claudin and Andreotti [Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 252, 30 (2006)]. They instead propose that Martian dunes, composed of large grains (500μm) , were formed in the past under very strong winds. We emphasize that this saltating grain size, estimated from thermal diffusion measurements, is far from straightforward. Moreover, the microscopic photographs taken by the rovers on Martian Aeolian bedforms show a grain size of 87±25μm together with hematite spherules at millimeter scale. As those so-called “blueberries” cannot be entrained more frequently than a few hours per century, we conclude that the saltating grains on Mars are the small ones, which gives a second strong argument against the model of Parteli

  2. Comment on "Minimal size of a barchan dune".

    PubMed

    Andreotti, B; Claudin, P

    2007-12-01

    It is now an accepted fact that the size at which dunes form from a flat sand bed as well as their "minimal size" scales on the flux saturation length. This length is by definition the relaxation length of the slowest mode toward equilibrium transport. The model presented by Parteli, Durán, and Herrmann [Phys. Rev. E 75, 011301 (2007)] predicts that the saturation length decreases to zero as the inverse of the wind shear stress far from the threshold. We first show that their model is not self-consistent: even under large wind, the relaxation rate is limited by grain inertia and thus cannot decrease to zero. A key argument presented by these authors comes from the discussion of the typical dune wavelength on Mars (650 m) on the basis of which they refute the scaling of the dune size with the drag length evidenced by Claudin and Andreotti [Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 252, 30 (2006)]. They instead propose that Martian dunes, composed of large grains (500 microm), were formed in the past under very strong winds. We emphasize that this saltating grain size, estimated from thermal diffusion measurements, is far from straightforward. Moreover, the microscopic photographs taken by the rovers on Martian Aeolian bedforms show a grain size of 87+/-25 microm together with hematite spherules at millimeter scale. As those so-called "blueberries" cannot be entrained more frequently than a few hours per century, we conclude that the saltating grains on Mars are the small ones, which gives a second strong argument against the model of Parteli.

  3. Rapid dune changes associated with overwash processes on the deltaic coast of South Louisiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ritchie, W.; Penland, S.

    1988-01-01

    The Caminada-Moreau barrier headland of South Louisiana is a low-profile beach and dune coastline that is transgressing rapidly over the surfaces of the abandoned Lafourche delta complex. With the passage of cold fronts (10-30 times per year) and hurricanes (once every 4 yrs), overwash events occur year round with varying degrees of frequency, intensity and geomorphological modification. This coastline consists of washover and dune surfaces that respond rapidly to overwash impact. The fine sand stored in washover deposits is easily reworked by aeolian processes into a variety of dune forms in the shore-zone that are vegetated rapidly. Geomorphological changes vary according to the position, ground elevation, and surface stability of the dunes. Independent factors are overwash surge elevations, beach gradient and the presence of pre-existing landforms. For ten years detailed surveys supplemented by aerial photographs and videotape surveys have recorded these changes. The analysis of these information sources provides insight into both the general evolution of this distinctive coastline and also the geomorphological interaction of dunes, beaches and washover deposits in different physiographic settings. ?? 1988.

  4. Morphology and origin of the Fair Oaks Dunes in NW Indiana, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kilibarda, Z.; Blockland, J.

    2011-01-01

    The Fair Oaks Dunes (FOD) of NW Indiana, USA is a large (~ 4500 km 2) inland dune field associated with the late Wisconsin deglaciation of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Meltwaters released by the Michigan, Saginaw, and Huron-Erie lobes transported fluvioglacial sediment through the Kankakee and Tippecanoe Valleys and their tributaries. The texture and composition of the sand in the FOD suggest a Saginaw Lobe origin of sediment with some Huron-Erie Lobe sediment. Sub-mature sand with sub-angular grains and a large feldspar content suggests relatively short distance of transport during two or possibly three dune-building and dune reworking events. We propose a model which explains the development of the dunes in three stages. Dune development began during the Bølling-Allerød (stage 1, ~ 15-13 ka) interval. During this stage anticyclonic easterly and north-easterly winds deflated the sand from outwash deposits and built transverse and barchanoid dunes on the western sides of the Tippecanoe Valley and paleo-channels. Further downwind, on the western and southwestern windward margins of the FOD, loess was deposited. During the early Younger Dryas (stage 2, ~ 12.5 ka) atmospheric circulation changed, and westerly winds reworked the original dunes to create a great variety of parabolic dunes. Simple, hemicyclic and lobate parabolic dunes developed in the western FOD, while further downwind, in the eastern and the southern FOD, more elongated hairpin and windrift dunes developed. On the upwind side of the dune field, loess deposits remained stable and were not remobilized during the second stage dune development. By the early Holocene the FOD dunes were stabilized until their minor remobilization during the Middle Holocene (stage 3). Minor disturbances caused by anthropogenic activities have occurred in last two centuries.

  5. Field observations of wind profiles and sand fluxes above the windward slope of a sand dune before and after the establishment of semi-buried straw checkerboard barriers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Chunlai; Li, Qing; Zhou, Na; Zhang, Jiaqiong; Kang, Liqiang; Shen, Yaping; Jia, Wenru

    2016-03-01

    Straw checkerboard barriers are effective and widely used measures to control near-surface sand flow. The present study measured the wind profiles and sand mass flux above the windward slope of a transverse dune before and after the establishment of semi-buried straw checkerboards. The 0.2 m high checkerboards enhanced the aerodynamic roughness length to larger than 0.02 m, which was two to three orders of magnitude higher than that of the bare sand. The modified Charnock model predicted the roughness length of the sand bed during saltation well, with Cm = 0.138 ± 0.003. For the checkerboards, z0 increased slowly to a level around 0.037 m with increasing wind velocity and the rate of increase tended to slow down in strong wind. The barriers reduced sand flux and altered its vertical distribution. The total height-integrated dimensionless mass flux of saltating particles (q0) above bare sand followed the relationship ln q0 = a + b(u∗t/u∗) + c(u∗t/u∗)2, with a peak at u∗/u∗t ≈ 2, whereas a possible peak appeared at u∗/u∗t ≈ 1.5 above 1 m × 1 m straw checkerboards. The vertical distribution of mass flux above these barriers resembled an "elephant trunk", with maximum mass flux at 0.05-0.2 m above the bed, in contrast with the continuously and rapidly decreasing mass flux with increasing height above the bare sand. The influences of the barriers on the wind and sand flow prevent dune movement and alter the evolution of dune morphology.

  6. Publication trends in aeolian research: An analysis of the Bibliography of Aeolian Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stout, John E.; Warren, Andrew; Gill, Thomas E.

    2009-04-01

    An analysis of the Bibliography of Aeolian Research has provided information regarding publication trends in aeolian research. Results suggest that there has been a significant increase in the number of publications per year since the first aeolian-research publication appeared in 1646. Rates of publication have increased from only three publications in the 17th Century to nearly three publications per day in the 21st Century. The temporal distribution of publications follows a complex pattern that is influenced by many factors. In the 17th and 18th Centuries, publications appear as isolated clusters indicating limited interest in aeolian research and limited opportunities for individuals to contribute to scientific literature. With time, many new scientific societies are formed and many new scientific journals are established, opening new opportunities for scientists to contribute to scientific discourse. Landmark publications open up new research areas and define new directions for aeolian research. General advances in science and technology provide new techniques for sampling blowing sand and dust. In addition, clear signs exist that publication rates respond to major environmental and climatic events, especially large-scale disasters that focus attention on wind erosion and blowing dust. The Sirocco dust events of 1901-1903, the North American Dust Bowl of the1930s, and the recent sand and dust storm problems in China have all led to significant increases in the number of publications in aeolian research. Rates of publication are negatively influenced by major political and social upheavals, especially global conflicts such as World Wars I and II. Sudden shifts in government structure and support can also influence publication rates. A good example is the increased publication rates in China following the end of the Cultural Revolution, a trend that continues today.

  7. Dunes and microdunes on Venus: Why were so few found in the Magellan data?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weitz, Catherine M.; Plaut, Jeffrey J.; Greeley, Ronald; Saunders, R. Steven

    1994-01-01

    A search through cycle 1, 2, and 3 Magellan radar data covering 98% of the surface of Venus revealed very few dunes. Only two possible dune fields and several areas that may contain microdunes smaller than the resolution of the images (75 m) were identified. The Aglaonice dune field was identified in the cycle 1 images by the specular returns characteristic of dune faces oriented perpendicular to the radar illumination. Cycle 1 and 2 data of the Fortuna-Meshkenet dune field indicate that there has been no noticeable movement of the dunes over an 8-month period. The dunes, which are oriented both parallel and perpendicular to the radar illumination, appear to be dark features on a brighter substrate. Bright and dark patches that were visible in either cycle 1 or 2 data, but not both, allowed identification of several regions in the southern part of Venus that may contain microdunes. The microdunes are associated with several parabolic crater deposits in the region and are probably similar to those formed in wind tunnel experiments under Venus-like conditions. Bragg scattering and/or subpixel relfections from the near-normal face on asymmetric microdunes may account for these bright and dark patches. Look-angle effects and the lack of sufficient sand-size particles seem to be most likely reasons so few dunes were identified in Magellan data. Insufficient wind speeds, thinness of sand cover, and difficulty in identifying isolated dunes may also be contributors to the scarcity of dunes.

  8. Dunes and Microdunes on Venus: Why Were So Few Found in the Magellan Data?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weitz, Catherine M.; Plaut, Jeffrey J.; Greeley, Ronald; Saunders, R. Steven

    1994-01-01

    A search through cycle 1, 2, and 3 Magellan radar data covering 98% of the surface of Venus revealed very few dunes. Only two possible dune fields and several areas that may contain microdunes smaller than the resolution of the images (75 m) were identified. The Aglaonice dune field was identified in the cycle I images by the specular returns characteristic of dune faces oriented perpendicular to the radar illumination. Cycle 1 and 2 data of the Fortuna-Meshkenet dune field indicate that there has been no noticeable movement of the dunes over an 8-month period. The dunes, which are oriented both parallel and perpendicular to the radar illumination, appear to be dark features on a brighter substrate. Bright and dark patches that were visible in either cycle 1 or 2 data, but not both, allowed identification of several regions in the southern part of Venus that may contain microdunes. The microdunes are associated with several parabolic crater deposits in the region and are probably similar to those formed in wind tunnel experiments under Venus-like conditions. Bragg scattering and/or subpixel reflections from the near-normal face on asymmetric microdunes may account for these bright and dark patches. Look-angle effects and the lack of sufficient sand-size particles seem to be the most likely reasons so few dunes were identified in Magellan data. Insufficient wind speeds, thinness of sand cover, and difficulty in identifying isolated dunes may also be contributors to the scarcity of dunes.

  9. Late Holocene dune activity in the Eastern Platte River Valley, Nebraska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanson, P. R.; Joeckel, R. M.; Young, A. R.; Horn, J.

    2009-02-01

    Large-scale dune activity in the Nebraska Sand Hills and elsewhere on the western Great Plains has been linked to prehistoric "megadroughts" that triggered the activation of regional dune fields. The effect of megadroughts on the smaller dune fields east of the Nebraska Sand Hills has never been assessed, however. This study focuses on the Duncan dune field near the confluence of the Loup and Platte rivers in eastern Nebraska. Seventeen optically stimulated luminescence age estimates were obtained and reveal two periods of dune activation that occurred between 4.4 to 3.4 ka and 0.8 to 0.5 ka. Significantly, both periods chronologically overlap large-scale dune activity identified in the Nebraska Sand Hills. Geochemical evidence indicates that the Duncan dunes received sand not only from the terrace underlying them, but also from the Loup River. These data link dune activity in the Duncan area, at least indirectly, to increased sediment supply from streams that drain the Sand Hills during megadroughts, implying the activation of the dunes occurred as an indirect response to regional megadroughts. Calculations of dune migration rates, however, argue in favor of local, drought-driven hydrologic changes as a causative factor in dune activation, in other words, a direct effect of megadroughts. Whether the impact was direct or indirect, it is highly likely that the repeated reactivation of the Duncan dunes resulted in some way from regional, large-magnitude droughts. Other paleoclimate proxies from the Great Plains tend to support this conclusion. We conclude that the megadroughts that have been identified in the Sand Hills and other Great Plains dune fields were indeed regional events with far-reaching effects.

  10. Atmospheric stability and diurnal patterns of aeolian saltation on the Llano Estacado

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanigan, David; Stout, John; Anderson, William

    2016-06-01

    Aeolian transport is driven by aerodynamic surface stress imposed by turbulent winds in the Earth's atmospheric boundary layer (ABL). ABL regime is influenced by stratification, which can either enhance or suppress production of turbulence by shear associated with the vertical gradient of streamwise velocity. During the day and night, surface heat fluxes induce a negative (unstable) and positive (stable) vertical gradient of potential temperature, respectively, which modifies the role of buoyancy in turbulence production. During the brief morning and evening transition periods, the vertical gradient of potential temperature vanishes (neutral stratification). The Monin-Obukhov similarity theory describes how the vertical gradient of streamwise velocity varies with stratification. Simultaneous field measurement of wind speed and aeolian activity were obtained over a 218-day period on a bare, sandy surface on the high plains of the Llano Estacado region of west Texas. Wind speed was measured at a height of 2 m with a propeller-type anemometer and aeolian activity was measured at the surface with a piezoelectric saltation sensor. We have used the wind speed measurements within the framework of the Monin-Obukhov similarity theory to estimate "typical" shear velocity, u∗ , of the ABL as stratification is varied (characterized with the stability parameter). This approach results in a color flood contour of u∗ against time of day and stability parameter: the procedure demonstrates that aeolian activity is most likely to occur during the day, when buoyancy acts in conjunction with mechanical shear to increase u∗ .

  11. Coherent structures in flow over two-dimensional dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Kyungsik; Constantinescu, George

    2013-05-01

    The instantaneous turbulent flow fields over a smooth bed and a bed containing large-scale roughness elements are characterized by the presence of elongated low and high streamwise momentum regions or streaks. If the bed contains large-scale roughness elements (e.g., dunes), the size of the streaks increases and is of the order of the size of these elements and the flow depth. The present large eddy simulation (LES) study focuses on the case of developing flow within wide channels containing at the bottom a long array of spanwise-oriented sinusoidal 2-D dunes (2a/h = 0.1, λ/h = 1, λ is the wavelength, 2a is the dune height, and h is the mean flow depth) and an array of 2-D asymmetric dunes (2a/h = 0.25, λ/h = 3.75) of closer shape to the ones observed in natural streams. For the case of an incoming steady flow, the instantaneous flow fields, in the region where the flow transitions toward a fully developed turbulent flow regime, contain arrays of highly organized hairpin vortices, whose dimensions are larger than the dune height. The LES shows that for relatively shallow channels (e.g., channels with 2a/h = 0.25), the large-scale hairpins and the streaks penetrate regularly up to the free surface, thus affecting mass transport and mixing over the whole water column. This paper explained the mechanism for the formation of these arrays of hairpin vortices and discussed the changes between a case with asymmetric dunes that are characterized by a large value of λ/2a (= 15) and a long upslope face and a case with symmetric dunes for which λ/2a = 10, the upslope face is relatively short, and the rate of change of the bed curvature around the dune's crest is relatively small. The study discusses the main mechanisms through which large-scale hairpin form and how these mechanisms change between two dune geometries (sinusoidal versus asymmetric dunes). This study also shows that hairpin eddies play the primary role in the formation of the streaks over the region

  12. Defrosting Polar Dunes--'The Snow Leopard'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    The patterns created by dark spots on defrosting south polar dunes are often strange and beautiful. This picture, which the Mars Orbiter Camera team has dubbed, 'the snow leopard,' shows a dune field located at 61.5oS, 18.9oW, as it appeared on July 1, 1999. The spots are areas where dark sand has been exposed from beneath bright frost as the south polar winter cap begins to retreat. Many of the spots have a diffuse, bright ring around them this is thought to be fresh frost that was re-precipitated after being removed from the dark spot. The spots seen on defrosting polar dunes are a new phenomenon that was not observed by previous spacecraft missions to Mars. Thus, there is much about these features that remains unknown. For example, no one yet knows why the dunes become defrosted by forming small spots that grow and grow over time. No one knows for sure if the bright rings around the dark spots are actually composed of re-precipitated frost. And no one knows for sure why some dune show spots that appear to be 'lined-up' (as they do in the picture shown here).

    This Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera image is illuminated from the upper left. North is toward the upper right. The scale bar indicates a distance of 200 meters (656 feet).

    Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.

  13. Biogenic crust dynamics on sand dunes.

    PubMed

    Kinast, Shai; Meron, Ehud; Yizhaq, Hezi; Ashkenazy, Yosef

    2013-02-01

    Sand dunes are often covered by vegetation and biogenic crusts. Despite their significant role in dune stabilization, biogenic crusts have rarely been considered in model studies of dune dynamics. Using a simple model, we study the existence and stability ranges of different dune-cover states along gradients of rainfall and wind power. Two ranges of alternative stable states are identified: fixed crusted dunes and fixed vegetated dunes at low wind power; and fixed vegetated dunes and active dunes at high wind power. These results suggest a crossover between two different forms of desertification.

  14. Morphologic characteristics and migration rate assessment of barchan dunes in the Southeastern Western Desert of Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamdan, M. A.; Refaat, A. A.; Abdel Wahed, M.

    2016-03-01

    This work explores the morphologic characteristics of aeolian dune sand in the southeastern part of Western Desert of Egypt. It aims to assess the movement of barchan dunes and evaluate their environmental influence on the Toshka Project. Morphometric investigation of barchan dunes in the Toshka area revealed that most barchans have high length/width (a/c) ratios (fat to pudgy), while one-fifth of the studied barchans have lower a/c ratios and so appear normal in their morphologic forms. Statistical analysis of the main parameters of barchan dunes in Toshka and other desert regions in the Kharga (Egypt), Kuwait, Southern Morocco, California and Southern Peru demonstrates that barchans of the Toshka area are distinctive in their appearance. They are characterized by distinct aspect with higher values of length and width and greater growth in height. The high-energy wind environment in addition to the large amount of drifting sand are principal factors responsible for the unique shape of Toshka barchans. The migration rate of barchan dunes in four chosen test locations, within the central and western Toshka area, ranges from about 3 to 10.82 m/year. The calculated average migration rate of these dunes is about 6 m/year in a SSW direction. Sand encroachment is more extensive in the central and western parts of the investigated Toshka area. Risk evaluation of sand dune movements in the southeastern part of the Western Desert points to medium to high sand encroachment risk values. These may represent serious hazards to the newly-established Toshka Project, threatening roads, as well as cultivated lands in the area.

  15. Weichselian Aeolian Geoheritage Top 20 of the Netherlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van den Ancker, Hanneke; Jungerius, Pieter Dirk; Platform Aardkundige Waarden, members

    2016-04-01

    The Netherlands are known world-wide for its engineered landscapes, its deep polders and bulb fields. The deep polders, up to more than 5 meters below sea level, originated by reclaiming peat lakes and peat quarries made for fuel. Its bulb fields are situated on levelled permeable dunes on which the precise water management is possible that growing bulbs requires. The Waddensea and -islands are less widely known (except by German bathers), although they are a World Heritage. The Waddensea is a highly pristine tidal landscape that already occurs along the Dutch coast for over 10,000 years and an important Natura 2000 area. The Wadden islands have an interesting history of erosion and re-growth and old cultural landscapes that show the interaction of land use and small-scale differences in geology and geomorphology during different cultural periods. Therefore, it is time to change the international perception of foreign visitors to The Netherlands and add the high variety of its historical landscapes, partly pristine and partly old cultural landscapes, to its tourism qualities. The poster presents a Top 20 of a less spectacular but another internationally important Dutch landscape: the coversand sites of the Netherlands. The Top 20 is selected by Geoheritage NL's Platform Aardkundige Waarden. The coversands evolved during the Late Weichselian, when the Netherlands was not covered by land ice and for a long period of time was part of a polar desert. The coversand landscape with dunes of 0,5 m up to 15 metres is not spectacular, but very characteristic. The coversands comprise of more than half a kilometre broad and 40 kilometre long dunes, series of river dunes as well as isolated dunes. The coversands and related Holocene drift sands make up about a quarter of the Dutch landscape. Over a century ago more than half of this landscape still had its pristine topography. Now less than a few percent is remaining. Especially the few remaining heathlands on coversand are an

  16. Rate of dune formation and sediment transfer in the past few hundred years on the Danube-Tisza Interfluve, Hungary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schubert, Gábor; Sipos, György

    2010-05-01

    Environmental change let it be induced either by climatic or anthropogenic factors has had a key role in determining the rate of aeolian sediment transfer, on the highly sensitive landscape of the Danube-Tisza Interfluve, Hungary. The study area is located on a former alluvial fan of the Danube, abandoned by the river in the Late Pleistocene, and then reshaped by aeolian activity. The resultant dune fields were time to time reactivated during the Holocene and historical times. As this part of the Carpathian Basin is often stricken by droughts, anthropogenic factors, such as forest clearances and/or overgrazing could easily lead to the disturbance of morphological stability. These effects acted on a local level, however in certain historical periods they supposedly were more extended and general. An era of this type was the time of Turkish occupation (16th-17th c.) and the following two centuries. During the Turkish rule the territory was cleared of forests and became deserted. Following the slow recolonisation by people and vegetation the land was mainly used for grazing. There are numerous historical reports on repeated sand storms and wind erosional events. However, we have no concept on the true amount of sediment reworked these times and the rate of geomorphic change. The major aim of the present study is therefore to quantify the possible amount of sediment transfer in a wind blown depression-hummock system on the central part of the Danube-Tisza Interfluve during the past 500 years. The determination of dune formation and migration rate provides further insight into the active morphological processes of the region, and also highlights the possible geomorphic responses to environmental changes (mostly climatic) currently affecting the central part of the Carpathian Basin. Seven drillings were made on the chosen hummock and the adjacent blow out to set up the chronological framework of dune formation by the means of luminescence dating (OSL). The relatively

  17. A conceptual framework for dryland aeolian sediment transport along the grassland-forest continuum: Effects of woody plant canopy cover and disturbance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Breshears, D.D.; Whicker, J.J.; Zou, C.B.; Field, J.P.; Allen, C.D.

    2009-01-01

    Aeolian processes are of particular importance in dryland ecosystems where ground cover is inherently sparse because of limited precipitation. Dryland ecosystems include grassland, shrubland, savanna, woodland, and forest, and can be viewed collectively as a continuum of woody plant cover spanning from grasslands with no woody plant cover up to forests with nearly complete woody plant cover. Along this continuum, the spacing and shape of woody plants determine the spatial density of roughness elements, which directly affects aeolian sediment transport. Despite the extensiveness of dryland ecosystems, studies of aeolian sediment transport have generally focused on agricultural fields, deserts, or highly disturbed sites where rates of transport are likely to be greatest. Until recently, few measurements have been made of aeolian sediment transport over multiple wind events and across a variety of types of dryland ecosystems. To evaluate potential trends in aeolian sediment transport as a function of woody plant cover, estimates of aeolian sediment transport from recently published studies, in concert with rates from four additional locations (two grassland and two woodland sites), are reported here. The synthesis of these reports leads to the development of a new conceptual framework for aeolian sediment transport in dryland ecosystems along the grassland-forest continuum. The findings suggest that: (1) for relatively undisturbed ecosystems, shrublands have inherently greater aeolian sediment transport because of wake interference flow associated with intermediate levels of density and spacing of woody plants; and (2) for disturbed ecosystems, the upper bound for aeolian sediment transport decreases as a function of increasing amounts of woody plant cover because of the effects of the height and density of the canopy on airflow patterns and ground cover associated with woody plant cover. Consequently, aeolian sediment transport following disturbance spans the largest

  18. Holden Crater Dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Context image for PIA03192 Holden Crater Dunes

    These dunes occur on the floor of Holden Crater.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude 25.8S, Longitude 326.5E. 17 meter/pixel resolution.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

  19. Ripples or Dunes?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This approximate true-color image taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's panoramic camera shows the windblown waves of soil that characterize the rocky surface of Gusev Crater, Mars. Scientists were puzzled about whether these geologic features were 'ripples' or 'dunes.' Ripples are shaped by gentle winds that deposit coarse grains on the tops or crests of the waves. Dunes are carved by faster winds and contain a more uniform distribution of material. Images taken of these features by the rover's microscopic imager on the 41st martian sol, or day, of the rover's mission revealed their identity to be ripples. This information helps scientists better understand the winds that shape the landscape of Mars. This image was taken early in Spirit's mission.

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on image for larger view [Image credit: NASA/JPL/ASU]

    This diagram illustrates how windblown sediments travel. There are three basic types of particles that undergo different motions depending on their size. These particles are dust, sand and coarse sand, and their sizes approximate flour, sugar, and ball bearings, respectively. Sand particles move along the 'saltation' path, hitting the surface downwind. When the sand hits the surface, it sends dust into the atmosphere and gives coarse sand a little shove. Mars Exploration Rover scientists are studying the distribution of material on the surface of Mars to better understand how winds shaped the landscape.

  20. Dunes on Plains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Context image for PIA03047 Dunes on Plains

    These dunes are located on the plains around Doanus Vallis.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude 62.3S, Longitude 335.3E. 17 meter/pixel resolution.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

  1. Galle Cr. Dunes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Context image for PIA03637 Galle Cr. Dunes

    These dunes are located on the floor of Galle Crater.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude 51.5S, Longitude 329.0E. 17 meter/pixel resolution.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

  2. Spatial-temporal evolution of aeolian blowout dunes at Cape Cod

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abhar, Kimia C.; Walker, Ian J.; Hesp, Patrick A.; Gares, Paul A.

    2015-05-01

    This paper explores historical evolution of blowouts at Cape Cod National Seashore (CCNS), USA - a site that hosts one of the world's highest densities of active and stabilized blowouts. The Spatial-Temporal Analysis of Moving Polygons (STAMP) method is applied to a multi-decadal dataset of aerial photography and LiDAR to extract patterns of two-dimensional movement and morphometric changes in erosional deflation basins and depositional lobes. Blowout development in CCNS is characterized by several geometric (overlap) and movement (proximity) responses, including: i) generation and disappearance, ii) extension and contraction, iii) union or division, iv) clustering and v) divergence by stabilization. Other possible movement events include migration, amalgamation and proximal stabilization, but they were not observed in this study. Generation events were more frequent than disappearance events; the former were highest between 1985 and 1994, while the latter were highest between 2000 and 2005. High rates of areal change in erosional basins occurred between 1998 and 2000 (+ 3932 m2 a-1), the lowest rate (+ 333 m2 a-1) between 2005 and 2009, and the maximum rate (+ 4589 m2 a-1) between 2009 and 2011. Union events occurred mostly in recent years (2000-2012), while only one division was observed earlier (1985-1994). Net areal changes of lobes showed gradual growth from a period of contraction (- 1119 m2 a-1) between 1998 and 2000 to rapid extension (+ 2030 m2 a-1) by 2010, which is roughly concurrent with rapid growth of erosional basins between 2005 and 2009. Blowouts extended radially in this multi-modal wind regime and, despite odd shapes initially, they became simpler in form (more circular) and larger over time. Net extension of erosional basins was toward ESE (109°) while depositional lobes extended SSE (147°). Lobes were aligned with the strongest (winter) sand drift vector although their magnitude of areal extension was only 33% that of the basins. These differences in extension responses likely result from more complex and evolving flow-form interactions inside erosional basins. Historical photographs and CCNS documents suggest that blowout evolution may be influenced by land-use changes, such as revegetation campaigns in 1985 that were followed by high blowout generation. High magnitude regional storm events (e.g., hurricanes) also play a role. The analytical framework presented provides a systematic means for two-dimensional geomorphic change detection and pattern analysis that can be applied to other landscapes.

  3. Simulation model of erosion and deposition on a barchan dune

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howard, A. D.; Morton, J. B.; Gal-El-hak, M.; Pierce, D. B.

    1977-01-01

    Erosion and deposition over a barchan dune near the Salton Sea, California, are modeled by bookkeeping the quantity of sand in saltation following streamlines of transport. Field observations of near surface wind velocity and direction plus supplemental measurements of the velocity distribution over a scale model of the dune are combined as input to Bagnold type sand transport formulas corrected for slope effects. A unidirectional wind is assumed. The resulting patterns of erosion and deposition compare closely with those observed in the field and those predicted by the assumption of equilibrium (downwind translation of the dune without change in size or geometry). Discrepancies between the simulated results and the observed or predicted erosional patterns appear to be largely due to natural fluctuations in the wind direction. The shape of barchan dunes is a function of grain size, velocity, degree of saturation of the oncoming flow, and the variability in the direction of the oncoming wind. The size of the barchans may be controlled by natural atmospheric scales, by the age of the dunes, or by the upwind roughness. The upwind roughness can be controlled by fixed elements or by sand in the saltation. In the latter case, dune scale is determined by grain size and wind velocity.

  4. Late Quaternary stratigraphy and geochronology of the western Killpecker Dunes, Wyoming, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mayer, J.H.; Mahan, S.A.

    2004-01-01

    New stratigraphic and geochronologic data from the Killpecker Dunes in southwestern Wyoming facilitate a more precise understanding of the dune field's history. Prior investigations suggested that evidence for late Pleistocene eolian activity in the dune field was lacking. However, luminescence ages from eolian sand of ???15,000 yr, as well as Folsom (12,950-11,950 cal yr B.P.) and Agate Basin (12,600-10,700 cal yr) artifacts overlying eolian sand, indicate the dune field existed at least during the latest Pleistocene, with initial eolian sedimentation probably occurring under a dry periglacial climate. The period between ???13,000 and 8900 cal yr B.P. was characterized by relatively slow eolian sedimentation concomitant with soil formation. Erosion occurred between ???8182 and 6600 cal yr B.P. on the upwind region of the dune field, followed by relative stability and soil formation between ???5900 and 2700 cal yr B.P. The first of at least two latest Holocene episodes of eolian sedimentation occurred between ???2000 and 1500 yr, followed by a brief (???500 yr) episode of soil formation; a second episode of sedimentation, occurring by at least ???700 yr, may coincide with a hypothesized Medieval warm period. Recent stabilization of the western Killpecker Dunes likely occurred during the Little Ice Age (???350-100 yr B.P.). The eolian chronology of the western Killpecker Dunes correlates reasonably well with those of other major dune fields in the Wyoming Basin, suggesting that dune field reactivation resulted primarily due to departures toward aridity during the late Quaternary. Similar to dune fields on the central Great Plains, dune fields in the Wyoming Basin have been active under a periglacial climate during the late Pleistocene, as well as under near-modern conditions during the latest Holocene. ?? 2003 University of Washington. All rights reserved.

  5. Wind erosion and aeolian desertification in Northern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, Wang

    2013-04-01

    Aeolian desertification is land degradation characterized by wind erosion in arid, semiarid and sub-humid regions mainly resulted from the excessive human activities on natural resources in Northern China. With along the development of economy and society, aeolian desertification/land degradation exerted increasingly profound influences on natural environment and social development. The aeolian desertification mostly occurs in the interlacing agro-pastoral region, grassland, semiarid rainfed cropland and oasis irrigated cropland regions in Northern China and the whole situation of aeolian desertification comes to depravation as well as only part of the desertified land had been controlled. China, as one of the countries facing with severe desertification problems, has made some progresses in understanding and combating the process of aeolian desertification through many years of hard work. Based on existing experiences and research achievements, this paper briefly discusses the causes, developmental processes, assessment and control mechanism of aeolian desertification in Northern China so as to provide some basic experiences for the further study and combating the aeolian desertification. Keywords: aeolian desertification, cause and process, assessment, desertified land control

  6. Aeolian sediment transport in vegetation canopies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gromke, C.; Walter, B.; Burri, K.; Graf, F.; Lehning, M.

    2011-12-01

    Wind erosion experiments in grass canopies performed in the atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnel of the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF in Davos / Switzerland are presented. The experiments were made using an 8 m long vegetation on sand (grain size 0.4 - 0.8 mm) fetch such that a naturally turbulent boundary layer could develop. The vegetation canopy consisted of regularly arrayed artificial grass tussocks which adequately mimic the aerodynamic and structural characteristics of vegetation with regard to flexibility and porosity. Three canopy densities and an unplanted, bare sand surface for reference were investigated. High speed imaging techniques were employed to study aeolian sediment transport over the final meter of the wind tunnel fetch. Moving particle trajectories were analysed by means of Particle Tracking Velocimetry (PTV). Sediment mass flux and concentration profiles were analysed using Shadow Imaging. The results of the particle trajectory analysis are presented in a statistical framework in terms of ejection and impact angle, trajectory length and curvature and particle velocity. Differences between aeolian sediment transport in / over vegetation canopies and the reference bare sand surface are pointed out. The previous observations of Burri et al. (2011), which revealed characteristic differences in the sediment mass flux profiles above a bare and vegetated surface, are now quantitatively explained by the trajectory analysis. Whereas the mass flux profile was steadily decreasing with height above ground for the bare surface, a peak at about twice the canopy height was found for the vegetated surface. The particle trajectory analysis plays a key role in distinguishing the diverse mechanisms leading to this elevated peak. The sediment mass flux and concentration profiles are additionally evaluated with respect to the height-dependency of particle size distributions. The trajectory analysis results are considered to have a high

  7. The Dynamics and Characteristics of Aeolian Dust in Dryland Central Asia: Possible Impacts on Respiratory Health in the Aral Sea Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiggs, G. F.; O'Hara, S.; Wegerdt, J.; van der Meer, J.; Small, I.; Hubbard, R.

    2003-12-01

    Over the last 40 years over 36,000 km2 of the former Aral Sea bed have been exposed creating a potentially significant aeolian dust source. It is widely believed, but little researched, that increased dust storm activity in the region has had a major impact on human health. In this paper we report the findings of a study into the link between dust exposure and respiratory health amongst children in the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan, located on the southern shore of the Aral Sea. Data were collected over a 12 month period at 16 sites located within a broad transect running north to south through Karakalpakstan. At each site monthly measurements of dust deposition were undertaken linked with daily meteorological data at 6 stations. At 3 sites weekly measurements of PM10 were also carried out. Approximately 100 children (aged 7-10 years) were randomly selected within 5 km of each dust trap site and data were collected on their respiratory health and environmental exposures. Lung function data were also collected using a handheld spirometer. A linear regression model was used to predict lung function for the children incorporating variables for Forced Expiratory Volume in one second (FEV1), age, gender, height and weight and we estimated the impact of dust deposition rates on the odds of having abnormal lung function using logistic regression. The findings indicate that dust deposition rates across the region are high with sites located near the former shore of the sea being the worst affected. For these northerly regions the former Aral Sea bed is the most likely source of dust. The situation for the rest of the country seems to be far more complex. In these regions it appears that local sources (agricultural fields, abandoned irrigation grounds, overgrazed dunes, and unpaved roads) and more distant sources to the south and south-west represent significant sediment providers, particularly in the early summer when agricultural fields are ploughed. We found some

  8. Cross-bedding related anisotropy and its interplay with various boundary conditions in the formation and orientation of joints in an aeolian sandstone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Shang; Cilona, Antonino; Morrow, Carolyn; Mapeli, Cesar; Liu, Chun; Lockner, David; Prasad, Manika; Aydin, Atilla

    2015-08-01

    Previous research revealed that the cross-bedding related anisotropy in Jurassic aeolian Aztec Sandstone cropping out in the Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada, affects the orientation of compaction bands, also known as anti-cracks or closing mode structures. We hypothesize that cross-bedding should have a similar influence on the orientation of the opening mode joints within the same rock at the same location. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the relationship between the orientation of cross-beds and the orientation of different categories of joint sets including cross-bed package confined joints and joint zones in the Aztec Sandstone. The field data show that the cross-bed package confined joints occur at high-angle to bedding and trend roughly parallel to the dip direction of the cross-beds. In comparison, the roughly N-S trending joint zones appear not to be influenced by the cross-beds in any significant way but frequently truncate against the dune boundaries. To characterize the anisotropy due to cross-bedding in the Aztec Sandstone, we measured the P-wave velocities parallel and perpendicular to bedding from 11 samples and determined an average P-wave anisotropy to be slightly larger than 13%. From these results, a model based on the generalized Hooke's law for anisotropic materials is used to analyze deformation of cross-bedded sandstone as a transversely isotropic material. In the analysis, the dip angle of cross-beds is assumed to be constant and the strike orientation varying from 0° to 359° in the east (x), north (y), and up (z) coordinate system. We find qualitative agreement between most of the model results and the observed field relations between cross-beds and the corresponding joint sets. The results also suggest that uniaxial extension (ɛzz > ɛxx = ɛyy = 0) and axisymmetric extension (ɛxx = ɛyy < ɛzz and ɛxx = ɛyy > ɛzz) would amplify the influence of cross-bedding associated anisotropy on the joint orientation whereas a

  9. Effects of beach raking and sand fences on dune dimensions and morphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nordstrom, Karl F.; Jackson, Nancy L.; Freestone, Amy L.; Korotky, Katherine H.; Puleo, Jack A.

    2012-12-01

    Raking beaches to remove wrack (natural and human litter) to enhance recreational use, and using sand fences to build and stabilize dunes are common practices on developed shores, but their effects on the landscape are not well understood. Managers in Avalon, NJ ceased using sand fences and raking in a portion of beach in 1991, providing the opportunity to evaluate evolution of natural and managed dune systems over a 19-year period. Topographic and vegetation characteristics were evaluated on 15 transects within 5 sites in a managed area, where raking and sand fences are still used, and at 15 transects within 5 sites in a naturally evolving (unmanaged) area. Raking and deploying fences in the managed area restricted the size of the cross-shore zone in which aeolian accretion occurred but resulted in greater dune crest heights than in the unmanaged area. Crest heights of the foredune in the managed area ranged from 4.45 m to 5.27 m. Crest heights in the unmanaged area ranged from 3.02 m to 4.27 m. Dune volume and beach volume were greater on average in the unmanaged area, and the dune was wider (mean of 72 m versus 40 m) and had an additional ridge. The unmanaged area had 35% more species and contained a greater percentage of all species encountered in the study area than the managed area (88% compared to 65%). More species occurred in the swales than any other of the cross-shore habitats, and most of these species were observed in the deeper, wider swales in the unmanaged area. Removing wrack from the beach prevents incipient dunes from forming, thus reducing the number of dune crests and size of swales that create topographic variability and increase the number and types of habitats for flora and fauna. Suspension of raking can allow the dunes to build seaward while producing a greater variety and number of habitats, but seaward growth does not mean that the height of the dune will increase substantially, and fences may be needed to build an initial dune ridge for

  10. Dynamic dune management, integrating objectives of nature development and coastal safety: Examples from the Netherlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arens, Sebastiaan M.; Mulder, Jan P. M.; Slings, Quirinus L.; Geelen, Luc H. W. T.; Damsma, Petra

    2013-10-01

    This paper discusses and compares results of management interventions to remobilise dunes and obtain more autonomous changes in foredunes resulting from a change in coastal defence policy. In recent decades, nature conservation managers tried to restore aeolian dynamics and dune mobility landward of foredunes to maintain threatened, rare pioneer species. Results indicate that destabilisation activities yielded an important increase of blowing sand and its effects on ecology but with a limited effect on the desired integral remobilization of dunes. Roots remaining in the sand after removal of vegetation and soil is one of the main problems. Follow up removal of roots for 3 to 5 years seems to be essential, but it is not clear whether the dunes will remain mobile in the long term. In 1990 the Dutch government decided to maintain the position of the coastline by artificial sand nourishment. An intensive management of the foredunes was no longer required. Consequently, natural processes in the foredunes revived, and the sediment budget of the beach-dune system changed. Two main types of responses are visible. In some areas, increased input of sand resulted in the development of embryonic dunes seaward of the former foredunes, leading to increased stabilisation of the former foredunes. In other areas, development of embryonic dunes was insignificant despite the increased sand input, but wind erosion features developed in the foredunes, and the environment was more dynamic. The reasons for the differences are not clear, and the interaction between shoreface, beach and dunes is still poorly understood. Until now, attempts to mobilise the inner dunes were independent of changes made to the foredunes. We argue that an integrated, dynamic approach to coastal management, taking account of all relevant functions (including safety and natural values) and the dune-beach system as a whole, may provide new and durable solutions. An integrated approach would ideally provide fresh

  11. Mean flow and Reynolds stress structure over aeolian ripples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Bailiang; McKenna Neuman, Cheryl; Bédard, Otto; O'Brien, Patrick

    2015-04-01

    Mean flow and turbulence structure on transverse ripples have been well documented in hydrodynamic literature. However, very few studies have described the flow characteristics over aeolian ripples. This study adopted laser Doppler anemometry (LDA) to measure the wind field above granular ripples with different bimodal particle size distributions in a wind tunnel. Multiple runs were conducted to examine the vertical profiles of time-averaged horizontal and vertical velocities and Reynolds stress above four different locations: crest, lee slope, trough, and stoss slope. The rippled sand bed has a fine beige fraction with grain size smaller than 0.542 mm concentrated in the troughs and a coarse fraction dyed in red with grain size greater than 0.542 mm concentrated in the crests. The magnitude of the ripples at equilibrium is controlled by both wind velocity and the ratio of beige sand to red sand. Freestream velocity has a range between 8-11 m/s (above the saltation threshold of beige sand and below the threshold of red sand) and the percentage coarse by mass varies from 5.2% to 27.5% with median grain size from 0.289 mm to 0.399 mm. Experimental results indicate that the ripples have the wave length ranged between 20 mm and 140 mm with a characteristic ripple index (wave length/wave height) of 15. Flow streamlines are generally parallel to the bed surface, which is inconsistent with previous hydrodynamic observations that a return flow is usually found at the lee side of the ripples. Reynolds stress has demonstrated a strong spatial differentiation near the sand surface: greatest at crests and smallest at the troughs, however, this difference diminishes with elevation. This is an exploratory study on the turbulence characteristics of air flow above aeolian ripples, and we believe the finding of this research will enhance the understanding the interaction mechanisms between the air and bed morphology.

  12. Debris-flow benches: Dune-contact deposits record paleo-sand dune positions in north Panamint Valley, Inyo County, California

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, S.P. ); Anderson, R.S. )

    1990-06-01

    Debris flows debouching onto the alluvial fan at the north end of Panamint Valley, California, have been episodically impounded behind sand dunes, resulting in boulder-strewn, nearly flat topped deposits in irregular basins upslope of the dune, whose upper surface is higher than the adjacent fan surface. Upslope migration of the dune field over and beyond these deposits eventually leaves them as debris-flow benches rising above the general fan surface. These features are therefore dune-contact forms, analogous to ice-contact forms such as kame terraces, in that both involve deposition against ephemeral barriers. Benches punctuate the alluvial-fan surface for 5 km downfan from the modern dune field. Clast seismic velocities of boulders on these benches indicate that bench ages increase monotonically with distance from the present dunes, implying that the dune field has migrated up the fan. Because the oldest bench is below the altitude of the highest pluvial lake shoreline in Panamint Valley (Gale Stage, ca. 50 ka) and slightly above the latest lakeshore (I Stage, ca. 14 ka), it seems likely that the dunes originated near the shore of the latest lake and have moved upfan at an average rate of 0.8 m/yr.

  13. Characteristics of aeolian dust across northwest Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karlson, L. R.; Greene, R. S. B.; Scott, K. M.; Stelcer, E.; O'Loingsigh, T.

    2014-03-01

    South easterly trade winds have long been thought to transport aeolian dust across northwest Australia, but very little is known about the chemical and particle size characteristics of this material. From July 2008 to May 2009, 36 aeolian dust samples were collected monthly at four sites across Australia's northwest. The results of ion beam analysis indicate that the samples consisted of four major elemental groups, one of which appeared to be transported across the sites during months in winter and summer. This group (characterised by higher ratios of Fe, Ti and Mn/Si than the Earth's Crustal Average) also showed a decrease in particle sizes towards the west. This suggests that the dust may have had a central Australian source, while other groups richer in Si appear to have been locally derived. These results support previous models of seasonal dust transport, and may have relevance in regional climate modelling, the transport of nutrients into the Indian Ocean, mineral exploration and studies of respiratory health.

  14. Rip currents, mega-cusps, and eroding dunes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thornton, E.B.; MacMahan, J.; Sallenger, A.H.

    2007-01-01

    Dune erosion is shown to occur at the embayment of beach mega-cusps O(200 m alongshore) that are associated with rip currents. The beach is the narrowest at the embayment of the mega-cusps allowing the swash of large storm waves coincident with high tides to reach the toe of the dune, to undercut the dune and to cause dune erosion. Field measurements of dune, beach, and rip current morphology are acquired along an 18 km shoreline in southern Monterey Bay, California. This section of the bay consists of a sandy shoreline backed by extensive dunes, rising to heights exceeding 40 m. There is a large increase in wave height going from small wave heights in the shadow of a headland, to the center of the bay where convergence of waves owing to refraction over the Monterey Bay submarine canyon results in larger wave heights. The large alongshore gradient in wave height results in a concomitant alongshore gradient in morphodynamic scale. The strongly refracted waves and narrow bay aperture result in near normal wave incidence, resulting in well-developed, persistent rip currents along the entire shoreline. The alongshore variations of the cuspate shoreline are found significantly correlated with the alongshore variations in rip spacing at 95% confidence. The alongshore variations of the volume of dune erosion are found significantly correlated with alongshore variations of the cuspate shoreline at 95% confidence. Therefore, it is concluded the mega-cusps are associated with rip currents and that the location of dune erosion is associated with the embayment of the mega-cusp.

  15. Two-dimensional airflow modeling underpredicts the wind velocity over dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michelsen, Britt; Strobl, Severin; Parteli, Eric J. R.; Pöschel, Thorsten

    2015-11-01

    We investigate the average turbulent wind field over a barchan dune by means of Computational Fluid Dynamics. We find that the fractional speed-up ratio of the wind velocity over the three-dimensional barchan shape differs from the one obtained from two-dimensional calculations of the airflow over the longitudinal cut along the dune’s symmetry axis — that is, over the equivalent transverse dune of same size. This finding suggests that the modeling of the airflow over the central slice of barchan dunes is insufficient for the purpose of the quantitative description of barchan dune dynamics as three-dimensional flow effects cannot be neglected.

  16. Two-dimensional airflow modeling underpredicts the wind velocity over dunes

    PubMed Central

    Michelsen, Britt; Strobl, Severin; Parteli, Eric J. R.; Pöschel, Thorsten

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the average turbulent wind field over a barchan dune by means of Computational Fluid Dynamics. We find that the fractional speed-up ratio of the wind velocity over the three-dimensional barchan shape differs from the one obtained from two-dimensional calculations of the airflow over the longitudinal cut along the dune’s symmetry axis — that is, over the equivalent transverse dune of same size. This finding suggests that the modeling of the airflow over the central slice of barchan dunes is insufficient for the purpose of the quantitative description of barchan dune dynamics as three-dimensional flow effects cannot be neglected. PMID:26572966

  17. A test of a climatic index of dune mobility using measurements from the southwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lancaster, N.; Helm, P.

    2000-01-01

    The climatic index of dune mobility developed by Lancaster (1988) has been applied to a variety of different environments. The index is, however, untested and unverified. We tested the index by comparison of values of the dune mobility index calculated from climate data with rates of sand transport measured at three stations in Arizona and New Mexico over the period 1985 to 1997. Our results show that changes in measured rates of sand transport closely parallel temporal changes in the dune mobility index. The mobility index is, however, a relatively poor predictor of the magnitude of actual sand transport on a year-to-year basis. This discrepancy is probably due to the fact that sand transport rates at these sites are strongly influenced by vegetation cover, the state of which may lag changes in annual precipitation. There is, however, a good relation between the mean annual mobility index and mean annual rates of sand transport. This indicates that the dune mobility index is a valid predictor of the long-term state of the aeolian system and can be used confidently for the purposes for which it was originally intended. Copyright (C) 2000 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

  18. Modeling Aeolian Transport of Contaminated Sediments at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Technical Area 54, Area G: Sensitivities to Succession, Disturbance, and Future Climate

    SciTech Connect

    Whicker, Jeffrey J.; Kirchner, Thomas B.; Breshears, David D.; Field, Jason P.

    2012-03-27

    vegetation succession cycle to earlier stages. The Area G performance assessment and composite analysis evaluate the impacts of disposing of radioactive waste over a period of hundreds to thousands of years. An assessment of aeolian sediment transport over this timeframe needs to account for the impacts of changes in vegetation structure and other surface conditions that occur under normal circumstances and as a result of environmental disturbance. Recent aeolian sediment transport studies undertaken in diverse dryland systems on both undisturbed and disturbed lands have yielded a suite of empirical measurements. These studies do not take into account changes in long-term conditions at the sites being investigated. Although studies of dune systems have begun to account for different types of vegetation due to succession and the effects of disturbance under current and projected climate, similar information for drylands that are not dominated by dunes is almost entirely lacking.

  19. Rapid anthropogenic response to short-term aeolian-fluvial palaeoenvironmental changes during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene transition in the northern Negev Desert, Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roskin, Joel; Katra, Itzhak; Agha, Nuha; Goring-Morris, A. Nigel; Porat, Naomi; Barzilai, Omry

    2014-09-01

    Archaeological investigations along Nahal Sekher on the eastern edge of Israel's northwestern Negev Desert dunefield revealed concentrations of Epipalaeolithic campsites associated respectively with ancient water bodies. This study, aimed at better understanding the connections between these camps and the water bodies, is concerned with a cluster of Natufian sites. A comprehensive geomorphological study integrating field mapping, stratigraphic sections, sedimentological analysis and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages was conducted in the vicinity of a recently excavated Natufian campsite of Nahal Sekher VI whose artifacts directly overlay aeolian sand dated by OSL to 12.4 ± 0.7 and 11.7 ± 0.5 ka. Residual sequences of diagnostic silty sediments, defined here as low-energy fluvial fine-grained deposits (LFFDs), were identified within the drainage system of central Nahal Sekher around the Nahal Sekher VI site. LFFD sections were found to represent both shoreline and mid-water deposits. The thicker mid-water LFFD deposits (15.7 ± 0.7-10.7 ± 0.5 ka) date within the range of the Epipalaeolithic campsites, while the upper and shoreline LFFD units that thin out into the sands adjacent to the Nahal Sekher VI site display slightly younger ages (10.8 ± 0.4 ka-7.6 ± 0.4 ka). LFFD sedimentation by low-energy concentrated flow and standing-water developed as a result of proximal downstream dune-damming. These water bodies developed as a result of encroaching sand that initially crossed central Nahal Sekher by 15.7 ± 0.7 ka and probably intermittently blocked the course of the wadi. LFFD deposition was therefore a response to a unique combination of regional sand supply due to frequent powerful winds and does not represent climate change in the form of increased precipitation or temperature change. The chronostratigraphies affiliate the Natufian sites to the adjacent ancient water bodies. These relations reflect a rapid, but temporary anthropogenic response to a

  20. Large Eddy Simulation of Flow and Sediment Transport over Dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agegnehu, G.; Smith, H. D.

    2012-12-01

    Understanding the nature of flow over bedforms has a great importance in fluvial and coastal environments. For example, a bedform is one source of energy dissipation in water waves outside the surf zone in coastal environments. In rivers, the migration of dunes often affects the stability of the river bed and banks. In general, when a fluid flows over a sediment bed, the sediment transport generated by the interaction of the flow field with the bed results in the periodic deformation of the bed in the form of dunes. Dunes generally reach an equilibrium shape, and slowly propagate in the direction of the flow, as sand is lifted in the high shear regions, and redeposited in the separated flow areas. Different numerical approaches have been used in the past to study the flow and sediment transport over bedforms. In most research works, Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) equations are employed to study fluid motions over ripples and dunes. However, evidences suggests that these models can not represent key turbulent quantities in unsteady boundary layers. The use of Large Eddy Simulation (LES) can resolve a much larger range of smaller scales than RANS. Moreover, unsteady simulations using LES give vital turbulent quantities which can help to study fluid motion and sediment transport over dunes. For this steady, we use a three-dimensional, non-hydrostatic model, OpenFOAM. It is a freely available tool which has different solvers to simulate specific problems in engineering and fluid mechanics. Our objective is to examine the flow and sediment transport from numerical stand point for bed geometries that are typical of fixed dunes. At the first step, we performed Large Eddy Simulation of the flow over dune geometries based on the experimental data of Nelson et al. (1993). The instantaneous flow field is investigated with special emphasis on the occurrence of coherent structures. To assess the effect of bed geometries on near bed turbulence, we considered different

  1. Sand Dunes in Noachis Terra

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    11 February 2004 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows dark-toned sand dunes in a crater in eastern Noachis Terra. Most big martian dunes tend to be dark, as opposed to the more familiar light-toned dunes of Earth. This difference is a product of the composition of the dunes; on Earth, most dunes contain abundant quartz. Quartz is usually clear (transparent), though quartz sand grains that have been kicked around by wind usually develop a white, frosty surface. On Mars, the sand is mostly made up of the darker minerals that comprise iron- and magnesium-rich volcanic rocks--i.e., like the black sand beaches found on volcanic islands like Hawaii. Examples of dark sand dunes on Earth are found in central Washington state and Iceland, among other places. This picture is located near 49.0oS, 326.3oW. Sunlight illuminates this scene from the upper left; the image covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide.

  2. Earth and planetary aeolian streaks: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen-Zada, Aviv Lee; Blumberg, Dan Gabriel; Maman, Shimrit

    2016-03-01

    Wind streaks are abundant aeolian features that have been observed on planetary surfaces by remote sensing means. They have been widely studied, particularly on Mars and Venus and to a much lesser extent on Earth. In imagery, these streaks appear as elongated features that are easily distinguishable from their surroundings. Geomorphologically, these streaks have, thus far, been interpreted as the presence or absence of small loose particles on the surface, deposited or eroded, respectively, by wind. However, the use of different (optical and radar) remote-sensing tools to study wind streaks has led to uncertain interpretations of these features and has hindered their geomorphological definition. Since wind streaks indicate the prevailing wind direction at the time of their formation, they may be used to map near-surface winds and to estimate atmospheric circulation patterns. The aim of this article is to review the main studies focusing on wind streaks and to present the most up-to-date knowledge on this topic. Moreover, a new perspective for wind streak research is suggested: As 'wind streak' is a collective term for a variety of aeolian features that when viewed from above appear as distinctive albedo surface patterns, we suggest that the term should not be used to refer to a geomorphological feature. Since the definition of wind streaks is constrained to remote sensing rather than to geomorphology and is affected by the inherent biases of remote sensing methods, we suggest that 'wind streaks' should be used as a collective term for aeolian surfaces that are discernable from above as bright and dark patterns due to alterations in the characteristics of the surface or to the presence of bedforms. To better understand the mechanisms, time-frames, climate compatibility of wind streaks and the influences of remote sensing on their appearance, we have compiled a new database containing more than 2,900 Earth wind streaks. A comprehensive study of these Earth wind

  3. New Method for Estimation of Aeolian Sand Transport Rate Using Ceramic Sand Flux Sensor (UD-101)

    PubMed Central

    Udo, Keiko

    2009-01-01

    In this study, a new method for the estimation of aeolian sand transport rate was developed; the method employs a ceramic sand flux sensor (UD-101). UD-101 detects wind-blown sand impacting on its surface. The method was devised by considering the results of wind tunnel experiments that were performed using a vertical sediment trap and the UD-101. Field measurements to evaluate the estimation accuracy during the prevalence of unsteady winds were performed on a flat backshore. The results showed that aeolian sand transport rates estimated using the developed method were of the same order as those estimated using the existing method for high transport rates, i.e., for transport rates greater than 0.01 kg m−1 s−1. PMID:22291553

  4. Abrasion by aeolian particles: Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R.; Marshall, J. R.; White, B. R.; Pollack, J. B.; Marshall, J.; Krinsley, D.

    1984-01-01

    Estimation of the rate of aeolian abrasion of rocks on Mars requires knowledge of: (1) particle flux, (2) susceptibilities to abrasion of various rocks, and (3) wind frequencies on Mars. Fluxes and susceptibilities for a wide range of conditions were obtained in the laboratory and combined with wind data from the Viking meteorology experiment. Assuming an abundant supply of sand-sized particles, estimated rates range up to 2.1 x 10 to the minus 2 power cm of abrasion per year in the vicinity of Viking Lander 1. This rate is orders of magnitude too great to be in agreement with the inferred age of the surface based on models of impact crater flux. The discrepancy in the estimated rate of abrasion and the presumed old age of the surface cannot be explained easily by changes in climate or exhumation of ancient surfaces. The primary reason is thought to be related to the agents of abrasion. At least some sand-sized (approx. 100 micrometers) grains appear to be present, as inferred from both lander and orbiter observations. High rates of abrasion occur for all experimental cases involving sands of quartz, basalt, or ash. However, previous studies have shown that sand is quickly comminuted to silt- and clay-sized grains in the martian aeolian regime. Experiments also show that these fine grains are electrostatically charged and bond together as sand-sized aggregates. Laboratory simulations of wind abrasion involving aggregates show that at impact velocities capable of destroying sand, aggregates from a protective veneer on the target surface and can give rise to extremely low abrasion rates.

  5. Predicting Martian dune shape and orientation from wind directional variability and sediment availability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandez-Cascales, Laura; Lucas, Antoine; Rodriguez, Sébastien; Narteau, Clément; Spiga, Aymeric; Allemand, Pascal

    2016-04-01

    Dunes provide a unique set of information to constrain local climatic regimes on planetary bodies where there is no direct meteorological data. Wind directional variability and sediment availability are known to control the dune growth mechanism (i.e. the bed instability or fingering modes) and the subsequent dune shape and orientation (Courrech du Pont at al., 2014; Gao et al., 2015). Here we provide a quantitative analysis of these dependences on Mars using the output of the Martian General Circulation Models (GCM) and satellite imagery such as the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Context Camera (CTX) images, at a selection of places where there is a high contrast between the dune material and the non-erodible ground. Dunes, mostly composed of unweathered basaltic and andesitic grains, appear dark, whereas the non-erodible ground has a higher albedo. Such a systematic contrast permits to link dune morphology to the local sediment cover. Dune shape, crest orientation and local sediment cover are extracted from CTX images using an automatic linear segment detection method and the local distribution in albedo. In zones of high sediment supply, dune crest alignments are close to the orientation of the bed instability mode predicted from the local winds from the Martian Climate Database (MCD) where is stored the outputs of the IPSL-GCM for Mars (Millour et al., 2014). Using the same wind data, in zones of low sediment supply, the crest angle is close to the orientation of the fingering mode. In addition, there are continuous transitions in dune shape and orientation as the dunes migrate from zone of high to low sediment availability. These results indicate that the prediction of the IPSL-GCM are in good agreement with the present dune shapes and orientations and shed new light on the dynamics of complex dune fields along sand flow path.

  6. Sand dune patterns on Titan controlled by long-term climate cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewing, Ryan C.; Hayes, Alex G.; Lucas, Antoine

    2015-01-01

    Linear sand dunes cover the equatorial latitudes of Saturn's moon Titan and are shaped by global wind patterns. These dunes are thought to reflect present-day diurnal, tidal and seasonal winds, but climate models have failed to reproduce observed dune morphologies with these wind patterns. Dunes diagnostic of a specific wind or formative timescale have remained elusive. Here we analyse radar imagery from NASA's Cassini spacecraft and identify barchan, star and reoriented dunes in sediment-limited regions of Titan's equatorial dune fields that diverge by 23° on average from the orientation of linear dunes. These morphologies imply shifts in wind direction and sediment availability. Using a numerical model, we estimate that the observed reorientation of dune crests to a change in wind direction would have taken around 3,000 Saturn years (1 Saturn year ~ 29.4 Earth years) or longer--a timescale that exceeds diurnal, seasonal or tidal cycles. We propose that shifts in winds and sediment availability are the product of long-term climate cycles associated with variations in Saturn's orbit. Orbitally controlled landscape evolution--also proposed to explain the distribution of Titan's polar lakes--implies a dune-forming climate on equatorial Titan that is analogous to Earth.

  7. Declining sand dune activity in the southern Canadian prairies: Historical context, controls and ecosystem implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hugenholtz, Chris H.; Bender, Darren; Wolfe, Stephen A.

    2010-11-01

    Sandhills are islands of biodiversity in the southern Canadian prairies that sustain habitat for many rare and endangered species. These unique areas consist of large expanses of dune fields now mostly stabilized by grassland vegetation. Historically, the number of active dunes has decreased significantly due to vegetation stabilization, resulting in a dramatic decline of open-sand habitat for a variety of dune-dependent species. Without a certain level of wind erosion, opportunities for establishment of early-stage, species-rich vegetation types are diminished and open-sand habitat decreases by encroachment of the surrounding grassland vegetation. The current trend of dune stabilization, however, implies that wind erosion is decreasing, thereby threatening the continued existence of a variety of dune-dependent plants, arthropods and vertebrates, as well as other less-specialized species that benefit indirectly from these habitats. By reviewing factors contributing to the historical decline of active dunes, as well as the ecological implications of dune stabilization, the aim of this paper is to establish the biophysical context for new land management strategies that conserve valued landscape components, such as active dunes, and the processes therein. As dune stabilization continues management interventions will be required to sustain or re-establish open sand and the species that rely on these habitats.

  8. Late Quaternary chronology of major dune ridge development in the northeast Rub' al-Khali, United Arab Emirates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atkinson, Oliver A. C.; Thomas, David S. G.; Goudie, Andrew S.; Bailey, Richard M.

    The northeastern sector of the Rub' al-Khali desert in the eastern United Arab Emirates (UAE) is dominated by large NE-SW trending dune ridges orientated perpendicular to the currently prevailing northwesterly wind regime. In this study, extensive use has been made of artificially exposed sections through these major dune ridges that reveal internal sedimentary structures and allow an intensive, high-resolution sampling programme to be carried out. Here, we present the optical dating results for samples from 7 sections. The results indicate that dune activity and preservation occurred within the periods 7-3 ka, 16-10 ka and 22-20 ka with evidence of earlier preservation during marine oxygen isotope stages MIS 3 and 5, with net accumulation rates in the range 2.2-25 m.ka - 1 . In several instances, hiatuses in the preserved record of dune accumulation coincide with stratigraphic bounding surfaces visible in the exposed section profiles with associated truncation of internal sedimentary structures. Caution must be exercised when interpreting such gaps in the recorded accumulation chronologies of these dunes since these may simply constitute phases of low preservation potential rather than phases of low aeolian activity. Other factors such as sediment supply and availability in relation to sea-level dynamics may be significant and are also considered.

  9. How common are aeolian processes on planetary bodies with very thin atmospheres?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pähtz, Thomas; Duran, Orencio

    2016-04-01

    Observations from the Voyager 2, New Horizons, and Rosetta missions indicate that aeolian surface features, such as ripples and dunes, do not only occur on the surfaces of Earth, Mars, and Titan, but seemingly also on the surfaces of planetary bodies with extremely thin atmospheres, such as Triton, Pluto, and the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This is highly intriguing since the saltation-threshold wind shear velocities predicted for these bodies from standard saltation-threshold models are so large that wind erosion actually should not occur. Here, guided by coupled DEM/RANS numerical simulations of sediment transport in Newtonian fluid using the numerical model by Duran et al. (POF 24, 103306, 2012), we propose an analytical model based entirely on physical princinples that predicts the minimal fluid speeds required to sustain sediment transport in Newtonian fluid. The analytical model is consistent with measurements of the transport threshold in water and Earth's air and with a recent observational estimate of the threshold on Mars. When applied to Triton and Pluto, it predicts threshold wind shear velocities (ut) of about 1-3m/s, which is comparable to wind shear occurring during storms on Earth and Mars, for particles with diameters (d) within the range d ∈ [200,3000]μm. The minimal values (≈ 1m/s) are thereby predicted for surprisingly large particles with d ≈ 2000μm. When applied to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the analytical model predicts threshold wind shear velocities that are fairly extreme (e.g., ut = 45m/s for d = 1cm), but nonetheless consistent with wind shear velocities estimated to occur on this comet. From our results, we conclude that surface-shaping wind erosion and thus the occurrence of aeolian surface features might be much more common on low-air-density planetary bodies than previously thought.

  10. Dune convergence/divergence controlled by residual current vortices in the Jade tidal channel, south-eastern North Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kubicki, Adam; Kösters, Frank; Bartholomä, Alexander

    2016-10-01

    A field of large to very large subaqueous dunes was investigated in the Jade tidal channel, south-eastern North Sea, between January 2006 and October 2011. A ground-truthed sidescan sonar sediment map shows that the dunes, which are located on top of a consolidated clay surface, are composed of medium to coarse sand. A series of 35 consecutive high-resolution bathymetric surfaces collected by multibeam echosounder revealed a complex migration pattern induced by the reversing tidal currents. Various parts of the dune field are under the influence of either ebb- or flood-dominated currents, as indicated by dune asymmetries. Although some dunes migrate at a pace exceeding 100 m/year, the majority are displaced by 30 m/year in the direction of the locally dominant current. In the deepest part of the channel, however, dunes were observed to converge head-on, resulting in practically zero net transport with minor oscillations of symmetrical dunes at the apex. Applying the numerical UnTRIM model for the simulation of the fair-weather hydrology, a simplified map of residual current vectors over the dune field was generated. The residual flow vectors are found to perfectly match the derived dune migration vectors, suggesting that dune convergence is controlled by two counter-rotating residual current vortices caused by the local shape of the tidal channel. As no sediment build-up is observed, a mechanism of sediment bypassing with potential recirculation must exist, but has not yet been identified.

  11. Applying and validating the PTVA-3 Model at the Aeolian Islands, Italy: assessment of the vulnerability of buildings to tsunami

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dall'Osso, Filippo; Maramai, Alessandra; Graziani, Laura; Brizuela, Beatriz; Cavalletti, Alessandra; Gonella, Marco; Tinti, Stefano

    2010-05-01

    The volcanic archipelago of the Aeolian Islands (Sicily, Italy) is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list and it is visited by more than 200.000 tourists per year. However, because of its geological characteristics, the risk related to the volcanic and seismic activity is particularly high. Since 1916 the archipelago has been hit by 8 local tsunamis (Maramai et al., 2005). The last and most intense of these events happened on the 30th of December 2002. It was triggered by two subsequent landslides along the north side of the Stromboli volcano (Sciara del Fuoco), which poured into the sea about 2-3 x 107 m3 of rocks and debris (Tinti et al., 2005). The waves reached the whole archipelago, but most of the damage to buildings and infrastructures occurred in the island of Stromboli (maximum run-up 11 metres) and Panarea. The aim of this study is to assess the vulnerability of those buildings located within the area inundated in 2002. The assessment is carried out using the PTVA-3 model (Papathoma Tsunami Vulnerability Assessment-version 3), recently developed and applied by Dall'Osso et al. (2009) in Sydney. As the original version of the PTVA (Papathoma, 2003), the PTVA-3 calculates a Relative Vulnerability Index (RVI) for every building, based on a set of selected physical and structural attributes. Run up values within the area inundated by the 2002 tsunami were measured and mapped by INGV and University of Bologna during field surveys in January 2003. Results of the assessment show that if the same tsunami occurred today, 54 buildings would be hit in Stromboli, and 5 in Panarea. The overall vulnerability level obtained for Stromboli is "average"/"low", while "very low" for Panarea. Nonetheless, 13 buildings in Stromboli are classified as having a "high" or "average" vulnerability. For 5 buildings, we could validate the RVI values calculated by the PTVA-3 through a qualitative comparison with some pictures taken by INGV during the post-tsunami survey. Apart from

  12. Dunes and Dust Devil Tracks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    22 August 2004 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a suite of dark sand dunes that formed in winds blowing from east (right) to west (left), along with smaller, lighter-toned ripples and many dark dust devil tracks. The dust devil tracks indicate movement from a variety of directions, while the dunes only indicate winds from the east. In the lower left quarter of the image, dune sand has flowed around a layered rock obstacle. This scene is located near 19.9oN, 280.5oW. The image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across and sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

  13. The sensitivity of the southwest monsoon phytoplankton bloom to variations in aeolian iron deposition over the Arabian Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiggert, Jerry D.; Murtugudde, Raghu G.

    2007-05-01

    A coupled, 3-D biophysical ocean general circulation model is used to investigate how aeolian iron deposition affects the Arabian Sea ecosystem. Two separate aeolian iron deposition fields, derived from the GISS and GOCART atmospheric transport models, have been applied as surface boundary conditions. The model results exhibit widespread biogeochemical sensitivity to the choice of deposition field. With GOCART deposition, SW Monsoon phytoplankton blooms in the western and central Arabian Sea are enhanced and exhibit greater realism. The central Arabian Sea bloom is supported by supplemental input of horizontally advected iron from a pool that undergoes a yearlong progression that begins in the Gulf of Oman, where the difference in aeolian iron enrichment between the two deposition fields is most prevalent. The GOCART-enhanced blooms result in a more pronounced shift toward netplankton, an increase in euphotic zone export flux of up to a 20% during the SW Monsoon and an additional annual biogenic export of 3.5 TgC. The potential ramifications of regional N-cycle alteration through stimulation of N2-fixation that is promoted by significant aeolian mineral flux needs to be explored. The canonical thinking that the northern Arabian Sea is invariably iron replete is now being challenged by both our model results and recent observational studies. As well, our results indicate that Arabian Sea iron concentrations are strongly modulated by the specific nature of aeolian mineral deposition. Thus climate or land use influences on dust mobilization could exercise leading-order controls on regional biogeochemical variability, metabolic status and air-sea exchanges of CO2.

  14. An analytical framework for aeolian saltation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reitz, M. D.; Jerolmack, D. J.

    2011-12-01

    The process of aeolian saltation has been a focus of extensive research, but analytical solutions for the balance between the flux of grains and the adjustment of the wind velocity profile have yet to be described. Because several of the functional relationships between variables could not be known a priori, as for example the splash functions of the impact-induced ejection of grains from the bed, the process has been studied primarily through experiments and numerical modeling. Grain-scale experiments have now however yielded robust empirical relationships for functions such as splash function distributions, and we can use these relationships to make the aeolian saltation process analytically tractable. We construct an analytical framework for steady state saltation in terms of a threshold height, above which the wind velocity is strong enough to carry a grain from reptation to saltation. This threshold height is raised as the wind profile magnitude is lowered by the increasing number of saltating grains being accelerated by the wind, until the number of grains being demoted below this threshold equals the number being promoted. Grain demotion results from the loss of energy to collisions with the bed, while grain promotion results from the distribution of splash-ejected grains that exceed the threshold height. The balance of these populations at steady state determines both the total number of grains in saltation and the saturated wind velocity profile, while the approach to this balance describes the transient evolution to this state. We also formulate the critical impact Shields stress, defined as the stress below which transport ceases (as opposed to the higher critical fluid Shields stress at which transport is initiated). The difference between the critical fluid and impact Shields stresses also implies the existence of a minimum population of saltating grains. Finally, we extend our developed framework to comment on related open questions. We test the

  15. DUNE - a granular flow code

    SciTech Connect

    Slone, D M; Cottom, T L; Bateson, W B

    2004-11-23

    DUNE was designed to accurately model the spectrum of granular. Granular flow encompasses the motions of discrete particles. The particles are macroscopic in that there is no Brownian motion. The flow can be thought of as a dispersed phase (the particles) interacting with a fluid phase (air or water). Validation of the physical models proceeds in tandem with simple experimental confirmation. The current development team is working toward the goal of building a flexible architecture where existing technologies can easily be integrated to further the capability of the simulation. We describe the DUNE architecture in some detail using physics models appropriate for an imploding liner experiment.

  16. Applying and validating the PTVA-3 Model at the Aeolian Islands, Italy: assessment of the vulnerability of buildings to tsunamis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dall'Osso, F.; Maramai, A.; Graziani, L.; Brizuela, B.; Cavalletti, A.; Gonella, M.; Tinti, S.

    2010-07-01

    The volcanic archipelago of the Aeolian Islands (Sicily, Italy) is included on the UNESCO World Heritage list and is visited by more than 200 000 tourists per year. Due to its geological characteristics, the risk related to volcanic and seismic activity is particularly high. Since 1916 the archipelago has been hit by eight local tsunamis. The most recent and intense of these events happened on 30 December 2002. It was triggered by two successive landslides along the north-western side of the Stromboli volcano (Sciara del Fuoco), which poured approximately 2-3×107 m3 of rocks and debris into the Tyrrhenian Sea. The waves impacted across the whole archipelago, but most of the damage to buildings and infrastructures occurred on the islands of Stromboli (maximum run-up 11 m) and Panarea. The aim of this study is to assess the vulnerability of buildings to damage from tsunamis located within the same area inundated by the 2002 event. The assessment is carried out by using the PTVA-3 Model (Papathoma Tsunami Vulnerability Assessment, version 3). The PTVA-3 Model calculates a Relative Vulnerability Index (RVI) for every building, based on a set of selected physical and structural attributes. Run-up values within the area inundated by the 2002 tsunami were measured and mapped by the Istituto Italiano di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) and the University of Bologna during field surveys in January 2003. Results of the assessment show that if the same tsunami were to occur today, 54 buildings would be affected in Stromboli, and 5 in Panarea. The overall vulnerability level obtained in this analysis for Stromboli and Panarea are "average"/"low" and "very low", respectively. Nonetheless, 14 buildings in Stromboli are classified as having a "high" or "average" vulnerability. For some buildings, we were able to validate the RVI scores calculated by the PTVA-3 Model through a qualitative comparison with photographs taken by INGV and the University of Bologna during the post

  17. Discussion. Cemented horizon in subarctic Alaskan sand dunes.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Galloway, J.P.; Koster, E.A.; Hamilton, T.D.

    1985-01-01

    Exception is taken to the conclusions (M.A. 84M/4465) concerning the distribution, age and origin of the cementing materials of carbonate crusts in the eaeolian sand deposits of the dune field in the central Kobuk Valley. (Following abstract)-M.S.

  18. Modeling aeolian erosion in presence of vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dupont, S.; Bergametti, G.; Simoëns, S.

    2014-02-01

    Semiarid landscapes are characterized by vegetated surfaces. Understanding the impact of vegetation on aeolian soil erosion is important for reducing soil erosion or limiting crop damage through abrasion or burial. In the present study, a saltation model fully coupled with a large-eddy simulation airflow model is extended to vegetated landscapes. From this model, the sensitivity of sand erosion to different arrangements and type of plants (shrub versus tree) representative of semiarid landscapes is investigated and the wind erosion reduction induced by plants is quantified. We show that saltation processes over vegetated surfaces have a limited impact on the mean wind statistics, the momentum extracted from the flow by saltating particles being negligible compared to that extracted by plants. Simulated sand erosion patterns resulting from plant distribution, i.e., accumulation and erosion areas, appear qualitatively consistent with previous observations. It is shown that sand erosion reduction depends not only on vegetation cover but also on plant morphology and plant distribution relative to the mean wind direction. A simple shear stress partitioning approach applied in shrub cases gives similar trends of sand erosion reduction as the present model following wind direction and vegetation cover. However, the magnitude of the reduction appears significantly different from one approach to another. Although shrubs trap saltating particles, trees appear more efficient than shrubs to reduce sand erosion. This is explained by the large-scale sheltering effect of trees compared to the local shrub one.

  19. Natural gamma-radiation in the Aeolian volcanic arc.

    PubMed

    Chiozzi, P; Pasquale, V; Verdoya, M; Minato, S

    2001-11-01

    Pulse-height distributions of gamma-rays, obtained with a field NaI(Tl) scintillation spectrometer in numerous sites of the Lipari and Vulcano islands (Aeolian volcanic arc, Italy), were measured to determine the U, Th and K concentrations of the bedrock and the relative values of the air absorbed dose rate. U is spatially related to both Th and K and the Th/U ratio is on average 3.1-3.5. The magmatic evolution is reflected by the concentration of the three radioelements, as they are more abundant within the more felsic units of the volcanic series. The higher values of U (15.7-20.0 ppm) coincide with higher Th (48.3-65.9 ppm) and K (4.9-6.1%) concentrations associated with rhyolitic rocks of the third cycle (< 50 ky). The air absorbed dose rate varies from 20 to 470 nGy h(-1). The highest values (> 350 nGy h(-1)) are observed on outcrops of rhyolitic obsidian lava flows. The cosmic-ray contribution is also evaluated to estimate the total background radiation dose rate. PMID:11573810

  20. Natural gamma-radiation in the Aeolian volcanic arc.

    PubMed

    Chiozzi, P; Pasquale, V; Verdoya, M; Minato, S

    2001-11-01

    Pulse-height distributions of gamma-rays, obtained with a field NaI(Tl) scintillation spectrometer in numerous sites of the Lipari and Vulcano islands (Aeolian volcanic arc, Italy), were measured to determine the U, Th and K concentrations of the bedrock and the relative values of the air absorbed dose rate. U is spatially related to both Th and K and the Th/U ratio is on average 3.1-3.5. The magmatic evolution is reflected by the concentration of the three radioelements, as they are more abundant within the more felsic units of the volcanic series. The higher values of U (15.7-20.0 ppm) coincide with higher Th (48.3-65.9 ppm) and K (4.9-6.1%) concentrations associated with rhyolitic rocks of the third cycle (< 50 ky). The air absorbed dose rate varies from 20 to 470 nGy h(-1). The highest values (> 350 nGy h(-1)) are observed on outcrops of rhyolitic obsidian lava flows. The cosmic-ray contribution is also evaluated to estimate the total background radiation dose rate.

  1. Holocene dune formation at Ash Meadows National Wildlife Area, Nevada, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lancaster, Nicholas; Mahan, Shannon

    2012-01-01

    Small isolated dune fields in the northern Mojave Desert are important centers of biodiversity and archaeological occupation sites. Currently dunes at Ash Meadows, Nevada, are stabilized by vegetation and are experiencing erosion of their upwind margins, indicating a negative sediment budget. New OSL ages from dunes at Ash Meadows indicate continuous eolian accumulation from 1.5 to 0.8 ka, with further accumulation around 0.2 ka. Prior studies (e.g., Mehringer and Warren, 1976) indicate periods of dune accumulation prior to 3.3 ka; 1.9–1 ka; and after 0.9 ka. These periods of eolian accumulation are largely synchronous with those identified elsewhere in the Mojave Desert. The composition of the Ash Meadows dunes indicates their derivation from regional fluvial sources, most likely during periods when axial washes were active as a result of enhanced winter precipitation.

  2. Variations in Titan's dune orientations as a result of orbital forcing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDonald, George D.; Hayes, Alexander G.; Ewing, Ryan C.; Lora, Juan M.; Newman, Claire E.; Tokano, Tetsuya; Lucas, Antoine; Soto, Alejandro; Chen, Gang

    2016-05-01

    Wind-blown dunes are a record of the climatic history in Titan's equatorial region. Through modeling of the climatic conditions associated with Titan's historical orbital configurations (arising from apsidal precessions of Saturn's orbit), we present evidence that the orientations of the dunes are influenced by orbital forcing. Analysis of 3 Titan general circulation models (GCMs) in conjunction with a sediment transport model provides the first direct intercomparison of results from different Titan GCMs. We report variability in the dune orientations predicted for different orbital epochs of up to 70°. Although the response of the GCMs to orbital forcing varies, the orbital influence on the dune orientations is found to be significant across all models. Furthermore, there is near agreement among the two models run with surface topography, with 3 out of the 5 dune fields matching observation for the most recent orbital cycle. Through comparison with observations by Cassini, we find situations in which the observed dune orientations are in best agreement with those modeled for previous orbital configurations or combinations thereof, representing a larger portion of the cycle. We conclude that orbital forcing could be an important factor in governing the present-day dune orientations observed on Titan and should be considered when modeling dune evolution.

  3. Defrosting Polar Dunes--Changes Over a 26-Day Period

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    As the retreat of the south polar winter frost cap became visible in June 1999, high resolution images from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) began to show dark spots forming on the surfaces of frost-covered sand dunes. Immediately, the MOC science team began to plan to observe several dune fields more than once, should that opportunity arise, so that the evolution of these dark spots could be documented and studied. Such work will eventually lead to abetter understanding of how the martian polar caps retreat as winter ends and spring unfolds in each hemisphere.

    MGS is in a polar orbit, which means that, unlike many other places on Mars, the spacecraft has more opportunities to take pictures of the same place. Dune fields near 87o latitude can be repeatedly viewed; dunes near the equator are not likely to be photographed more than once during the entire MGS mission.

    The pictures presented here show changes on a set of nearly pear-shaped sand dunes located on the floor of an unnamed crater at 59oS, 353oW. The picture on the left shows the dunes as they appeared on June 19, 1999, the picture on the right shows the same dunes on July 15, 1999. The dark spots in the June 19picture--indicating areas where frost has sublimed away--became larger by July 15th. In addition, new spots had appeared as of mid-July. If possible, these dunes will be photographed by MOC again in mid-August and each month until the frost is gone.

    The pictures shown in (B) (above) are expanded views of portions of the pictures in (A). The 200 meter scale bar equals 656 feet; the 100 meter bar is 328 feet (109 yards) long. All images are illuminated from the upper left; north is toward the upper right.

    Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations

  4. Giant Linear Dunes as the Formation Pathway to Megabarchan Chains: Titan and the Rub 'Al Khali

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorenz, R. D.; Radebaugh, J.

    2015-05-01

    We suggest megabarchans cannot grow from barchans. Rather sand accumulates as giant linear dunes in a bidirectional regime which has since become more unidirectional. We see this pattern on Titan and in the field in the .United Arab Emirates.

  5. Relationship between vegetation dynamics and dune mobility in an arid transgressive coastal system, Maspalomas, Canary Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernández-Cordero, Antonio I.; Hernández-Calvento, Luis; Espino, Emma Pérez-Chacón

    2015-06-01

    This paper explores the relationship between vegetation dynamics and dune mobility in an arid transgressive coastal dune system, specifically the dune field of Maspalomas (Gran Canaria, Canary Islands). The aim is to understand the strategies of colonization and survival that plant communities have developed in slacks that face dune advance. The relationship between plant colonization and dune migration was performed by following Tamarix canariensis and Traganum moquinii plants for several years. Morphological data about each individual as well as the distance of each plant to the dune were measured. A study of the colonization patterns developed by T. moquinii, T. canariensis, Cyperus laevigatus and Launaea arborescens communities was performed by analyzing the evolution of consolidated plant patches and adult plants in relation to the dune advance. This was achieved using digital orthophotos and spatial analysis from geographic information systems. Initiation of plant colonization over transgressive dunes occurs on both wet and dry slacks. The results show that both plant colonization and development of adult plants are largely related to dune mobility. Thus, survival of T. moquinii and T. canariensis plants under dune migration conditions is related to both distance to the dune front and plant height at the moment of burial. Distance from the dune front and plant height increases chance of survival. The dynamics of adult plants is also related to dune displacement rates. Thus, each community has different thresholds of resistance to mobility rates. The T. canariensis community withstands average rates higher than 3 m/year. Its arboreal structure allows this species to grow high enough to resist the advance of the dunes and burial. For the T. moquinii community, the population decreases gradually to eventually disappear when dune mobility rates exceed 4 m/year. The C. laevigatus community develops at dune mobility rates lower than 3 m/year, decreasing its surface

  6. Aeolian dust as a transport hazard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baddock, M. C.; Strong, C. L.; Murray, P. S.; McTainsh, G. H.

    2013-06-01

    The effects of blowing dust on transport operations are often mentioned as one of the significant impacts of aeolian processes on human welfare. However, few studies have been presented to demonstrate this impact. This research examined official air traffic incident reports in Australia for inclusively 1969-2010 to characterise the hazard of blowing dust to aviation in the country, the first such study of its kind. For the 42 year record, 61 incidents were identified (mean 1.4 per annum), with the large majority occurring in the first half of the 1970s. Only 20% of incidents occurred from 1984 onwards. Australian dust activity has not decreased over time, and the reduction in incidents is partly explained by improvements in aviation technology. The centralisation of Air Traffic Control operations to major coastal cities may however have reduced pilot reporting of dust-induced aviation incidents. By type of dust activity, dust storms were associated with nearly half of the reported incidents and dust hazes produced around a quarter. Only 5% of incidents resulted in any physical damage to aircraft and only one case involving personal injury was reported. The majority of the adverse effects on aviation due to dust (nearly 60% of reported incidents) were related to difficulties for navigation and completion of scheduled journey. Since aircraft damage and bodily harm were rare, the impact of dust in Australia is mostly that of inconvenience and associated raised economic costs. From 1990, the temporal pattern of incidents does not show any significant increase despite several intensely dusty years associated with recent droughts. This suggests that Australian aviation safety may be relatively resistant to the adverse effects of atmospheric dust as a hazard.

  7. Defrosting Polar Dunes--'They Look Like Bushes!'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    'They look like bushes!' That's what almost everyone says when they see the dark features found in pictures taken of sand dunes in the polar regions as they are beginning to defrost after a long, cold winter. It is hard to escape the fact that, at first glance, these images acquired by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) over both polar regions during the spring and summer seasons, do indeed resemble aerial photographs of sand dune fields on Earth--complete with vegetation growing on and around them! Of course, this is not what the features are, as we describe below and in related picture captions. Still, don't they look like vegetation to you? Shown here are two views of the same MGS MOC image. On the left is the full scene, on the right is an expanded view of a portion of the scene on the left. The bright, smooth surfaces that are dotted with occasional, nearly triangular dark spots are sand dunes covered by winter frost.

    The MGS MOC has been used over the past several months (April-August 1999) to monitor dark spots as they form and evolve on polar dune surfaces. The dark spots typically appear first along the lower margins of a dune--similar to the position of bushes and tufts of grass that occur in and among some sand dunes on Earth.

    Because the martian air pressure is very low--100 times lower than at Sea Level on Earth--ice on Mars does not melt and become liquid when it warms up. Instead, ice sublimes--that is, it changes directly from solid to gas, just as 'dry ice' does on Earth. As polar dunes emerge from the months-long winter night, and first become exposed to sunlight, the bright winter frost and snow begins to sublime. This process is not uniform everywhere on a dune, but begins in small spots and then over several months it spreads until the entire dune is spotted like a leopard.

    The early stages of the defrosting process--as in the picture shown here--give the impression that something is 'growing' on the dunes

  8. Tidal dunes versus tidal bars: The sedimentological and architectural characteristics of compound dunes in a tidal seaway, the lower Baronia Sandstone (Lower Eocene), Ager Basin, Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olariu, Cornel; Steel, Ronald J.; Dalrymple, Robert W.; Gingras, Murray K.

    2012-11-01

    The Lower Eocene Baronia Formation in the Ager Basin is interpreted as a series of stacked compound dunes confined within a tectonically generated embayment or tidal seaway. This differs from the previous interpretation of lower Baronia sand bodies as tidal bars in the front of a delta. The key architectural building block of the succession, the deposit of a single compound dune, forms a 1-3 m-thick, upward coarsening succession that begins with highly bioturbated, muddy, very fine to fine grained sandstone that contains an open-marine Cruziana ichnofacies. This is overlain gradationally by ripple-laminated sandstone that is commonly bioturbated and contains mud drapes. The succession is capped by fine- to coarse-grained sandstones that contain both planar and trough cross-strata with unidirectional or bi-directional paleocurrent directions and occasional thin mud drapes on the foresets. The base of a compound dune is gradational where it migrated over muddy sandstone deposited between adjacent dunes, but is sharp and erosional where it migrated over the stoss side of a previous compound dune. The cross strata that formed by simple superimposed dunes dip in the same direction as the inclined master bedding planes within the compound dune, forming a forward-accretion architecture. This configuration is the fundamental reason why these sandbodies are interpreted as compound tidal dunes rather than as tidal bars, which, in contrast, generate lateral-accretion architecture. In the Baronia, fields of compound dunes generated tabular sandbodies 100s to 1000s of meters in extent parallel to the paleocurrent direction and up to 6 m thick that alternate vertically with highly bioturbated muddy sandstones (up to 10 m thick) that represent the low-energy fringes of the dune fields or periods of high sea level when current speeds decreased. Each cross-stratified sandstone sheet (compound-dune complexes) contains overlapping lenticular "shingles" formed by individual compound

  9. Characteristics of dune-paleosol-sequences in Fuerteventura. - What should be questioned?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faust, Dominik; Willkommen, Tobias; Yanes, Yurena; Richter, David; Zöller, Ludwig

    2013-04-01

    Characteristics of dune-paleosol-sequences in Fuerteventura. - What should be questioned? Dominik Faust, TU Dresden, Germany Tobias Willkommen, TU Dresden, Germany Yurena Yanes, CSIC Granada/Cincinatti, Spain/USA David Richter, TU Dresden, Germany Ludwig Zöller, Uni Bayreuth, Germany The northern part of Fuerteventura is characterized by large dune fields. We investigated dune-paleosol-sequences in four pits to establish a robust stratigraphy and to propose a standard section. An interaction of processes like dune formation, soil formation and redeposition of soils and sand are most important to understand the principles of landscape development in the study area. To our mind a process cycle seem to be important: First climbing-dunes are formed by sand of shelf origin. Then soil formation could have taken place. Soil and/or sand were then eroded and deposited at toe slope position. This material in turn is the source of new sand supply and dune formation. The described cycle may be repeated several times and this ping-pong-process holds on. The results are sections composed of dune layers, paleosols and colluvial material interbedded. Fundamental questions still remain unanswered: Is climate change responsable for changes in process combination (e.g. from dune formation to soil formation)? Or are these features due to divergence phenomenon, where different effects/results (dune and soils) may be linked to similar causes (here: climate)? Assuming that different features (soils and dunes) were formed under one climate, increasing soil forming intensity could be mainly a function of decreasing sand supply. This in turn could be caused by reduced sand production (s. ZECH et al. accepted). However geochemical data and mollusc assemblages point to changing environments in space and even climate modifications in time.

  10. Mechanics of aeolian processes: Soil erosion and dust production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mehrabadi, M. M.

    1989-01-01

    Aeolian (wind) processes occur as a result of atmosphere/land-surface system interactions. A thorough understanding of these processes and their physical/mechanical characterization on a global scale is essential to monitoring global change and, hence, is imperative to the fundamental goal of the Earth observing system (Eos) program. Soil erosion and dust production by wind are of consequence mainly in arid and semi arid regions which cover 36 percent of the Earth's land surface. Some recent models of dust production due to wind erosion of agricultural soils and the mechanics of wind erosion in deserts are reviewed and the difficulties of modeling the aeolian transport are discussed.

  11. Observations regarding the movement of barchan sand dunes in the Nazca to Tanaca area of southern Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parker Gay, S.

    1999-03-01

    Significant studies of sand dunes and sand movement made in coastal southern Peru in 1959-1961 [Gay, S.P., 1962. Origen, distribución y movimiento de las arenas eólicas en el área de Yauca a Palpa. Boletin de la Sociedad Geologica del Perú 37, 37-58] have never been published in the English language and consequently have never been referred to in the standard literature. These studies contain valuable information, not developed by later workers in this field, that may be of broad general interest. For example, using airphotos of barchan dunes and plotting the rates of movement vs. dune widths, the author quantified the deduction of Bagnold [Bagnold, R.A., 1941. The Physics of Blown Sand and Desert Dunes. Methuen, London.] that the speed of barchan movement is inversely proportional to barchan size (as characterized by height or width). This led to the conclusion that all barchans in a given dune field, regardless of size, sweep out approximately equal areas in equal times. Another conclusion was that collisions between smaller, overtaking dunes and larger dunes in front of them do not result in destruction or absorption of the smaller dunes if the collision is a `sideswipe'. The dunes simply merge into a compound dune for a time, and the smaller dune then moves on intact, i.e., passes, the larger dune, whilst retaining its approximate original size and shape. Another result of the 1959-1961 studies was a map that documents the Pacific coast beaches as the source of the sand ( Fig. 1), which is then blown inland through extensive dune fields of barchans and other dune forms in great clockwise-sweeping paths, to its final resting place in huge sand masses, sometimes called `sand seas' [Lancaster, N., 1995. Geomorphology of Desert Dunes. Routledge, London], at higher elevations 20 to 60 km from the coast. A minor, but nevertheless interesting, discovery was a small heavy mineral dune located directly in the lee of a large barchan, evidently formed by the winnowing

  12. Daily cycles in coastal dunes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hunter, R.E.; Richmond, B.M.

    1988-01-01

    Daily cycles of summer sea breezes produce distinctive cyclic foreset deposits in dune sands of the Texas and Oregon coasts. In both areas the winds are strong enough to transport sand only during part of the day, reach a peak during the afternoon, and vary little in direction during the period of sand transport. Cyclicity in the foreset deposits is made evident by variations in the type of sedimentary structure, the texture, and the heavy-mineral content of the sand. Some of the cyclic deposits are made up entirely of one basic type of structure, in which the character of the structure varies cyclically; for example, the angle of climb in a climbing-wind-ripple structure may vary cyclically. Other cyclic deposits are characterized by alternations of two or more structural types. Variations in the concentration of fine-grained heavy minerals, which account for the most striking cyclicity, arise mainly because of segregation on wind-rippled depositional surfaces: where the ripples climb at low angles, the coarsegrained light minerals, which accumulate preferentially on ripple crests, tend to be excluded from the local deposit. Daily cyclic deposits are thickest and best developed on small dunes and are least recognizable near the bases of large dunes. ?? 1988.

  13. Mineral resources of the North Algodones Dunes Wilderness Study Area (CDCA-360), Imperial County, California

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, R.S.U.; Yeend, W.; Dohrenwend, J.C.; Gese, D.D.

    1984-01-01

    This report presents the results of a mineral survey of the North Algodones Dunes Wilderness Study Area (CDCA-360), California Desert Conservation Area, Imperial County, California. The potential for undiscovered base and precious metals, and sand and gravel within the North Algodones Dunes Wilderness Study Area is low. The study area has a moderate potential for geothermal energy. One small sand-free area between the Coachella Canal and the west edge of the dune field would probably be the only feasible exploration site for geothermal energy. The study area has a moderate to high potential for the occurrence of undiscovered gas/condensate within the underlying rocks. 21 refs.

  14. Late Holocene dune mobilizations in the northwestern Negev dunefield, Israel: A response to combined anthropogenic activity and short-term intensified windiness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roskin, Joel; Katra, Itzhak; Blumberg, Dan G.

    2013-04-01

    The study of the effects of past climates on ancient cultures is usually based on geologic records pertaining to rainfall and temperature fluctuations and shifts. This study proposes a paradigm of anthropogenic activity and windiness fluctuations to explain aeolian sedimentation and dune mobilization in the northwestern (NW) Negev Desert dunefield (Israel). The proposed paradigm contributes a different approach to estimating the effect of climate changes on the unprecedented agricultural and urban settlement expansion during the late Roman to Early Islamic period in the northern and central Negev Desert. This study builds upon the late Holocene cluster of luminescence ages of Roskin et al. (Age, origin and climatic controls on vegetated linear dunes in the northwestern Negev Desert (Israel), Quaternary Science Reviews 30 (2011), 1649-1674) coupled with analysis of archaeological finds and historical texts. We suggest that whereas the NW Negev dunefield was generally stable during the Holocene, intermittent dune mobilization during the late Holocene, at ~1.8 ka and mostly 1.4-1.1 ka (~600-900 CE), are linked to periods of human occupation. The idea that the last glacial dune encroachments alone that formed the NW Negev dunefield is connected to cold-event windy climates that may have intensified East Mediterranean cyclonic winter storms, cannot explain the late Holocene dune mobilizations. We conceptually model a connection between late Holocene dune mobilization, widespread anthropogenic occupation and activity, and windiness. We maintain that historic grazing and uprooting shrubs for fuel in the past by nomads and sedentary populations led to decimation of dune stabilizers, biogenic soil crusts and vegetation, causing dune erodibility and low-grade activity. Short-term events of amplified wind power in conjunction with periods of augmented anthropogenic activity that triggered major events of dune mobilization (elongation) and accretion have been preserved in the

  15. Terrestrial analogs of the hellespontus dunes, Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Breed, C.S.

    1977-01-01

    Geomorphic features in the Hellespontus region, Mars, were compared with dunes of the crescentic ridge type in numerous terrestrial sand seas quantitatively by dimensional analysis of dune lengths, widths, and wavelengths. Mean values for the Hellespontus dunes are close to mean values derived from measurements of all sampled terrestrial sand seas. Terrestrial analogs of form and areal distribution of the Hellespontus dunes are shown by comparison of scale ratios derived from the measurements. Dunes of similar form occur in South West Africa, in Pakistan, in the southeastern Arabian peninsula, in the Sahara, in eastern USSR and northern China, and in western North America. Terrestrial analogs closest to form and areal distribution of the Hellespontus dunes are in the Kara Kum Desert, Turkmen SSR, and in the Ala Shan (Gobi) Desert, China. ?? 1977.

  16. Terrestrial analogs of the Hellespontus dunes, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Breed, C. S.

    1977-01-01

    Geomorphic features in the Hellespontus region, Mars, were compared with dunes of the crescentic ridge type in numerous terrestrial sand seas quantitatively by dimensional analysis of dune lengths, widths, and wavelengths. Mean values for the Hellespontus dunes are close to mean values derived from measurements of all sampled terrestrial sand seas. Terrestrial analogs of form and areal distribution of the Hellespontus dunes are shown by comparison of scale ratios derived from the measurements. Dunes of similar form occur in South West Africa, in Pakistan, in the southeastern Arabian peninsula, in the Sahara, in eastern USSR and northern China, and in western North America. Terrestrial analogs closest to form and areal distribution of the Hellespontus dunes are in the Kara Kum Desert, Turkmen SSR, and in the Ala Shan (Gobi) Desert, China.

  17. Plants for Coastal Dunes of the Gulf and South Atlantic Coasts and Puerto Rico. Agriculture Information Bulletin 460.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Craig, Robert M.

    Plants that have been identified as stabilizers and beautifiers of coastal dunes are described in this publication from the Soil Conservation Service (SCS). After years of tests and field trials, the SCS has singled out 43 plants as having good potential for dune revegetation based on their characteristics for erosion control, frequency of…

  18. Erupted cumulate fragments in rhyolites from Lipari (Aeolian Islands)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forni, Francesca; Ellis, Ben S.; Bachmann, Olivier; Lucchi, Federico; Tranne, Claudio A.; Agostini, Samuele; Dallai, Luigi

    2015-12-01

    Over the last ~267 ky, the island of Lipari has erupted magmas ranging in compositions from basaltic andesites to rhyolites, with a notable compositional gap in the dacite field. Bulk geochemical and isotopic compositions of the volcanic succession, in conjunction with major and trace elemental compositions of minerals, indicate that the rhyolites were dominantly generated via crystal fractionation processes, with subordinate assimilation. Radiogenic (Sr, Nd, and Pb) and stable (O) isotopes independently suggest ≤30 % of crustal contamination with the majority of it occurring in mafic compositions, likely relatively deep in the system. Within the rhyolites, crystal-rich, K2O-rich enclaves are common. In contrast to previous interpretations, we suggest that these enclaves represent partial melting, remobilization and eruption of cumulate fragments left-over from rhyolite melt extraction. Cumulate melting and remobilization is supported by the presence of (1) resorbed, low-temperature minerals (biotite and sanidine), providing the potassic signature to these clasts, (2) reacted Fo-rich olivine, marking the presence of mafic recharge, (3) An38-21 plagioclase, filling the gap in feldspar composition between the andesites and the rhyolites and (4) strong enrichment in Sr and Ba in plagioclase and sanidine, suggesting crystallization from a locally enriched melt. Based on Sr-melt partitioning, the high-Sr plagioclase would require ~2300 ppm Sr in the melt, a value far in excess of Sr contents in Lipari and Vulcano magmas (50-1532 ppm) but consistent with melting of a feldspar-rich cumulate. Due to the presence of similar crystal-rich enclaves within the rhyolites from Vulcano, we propose that the eruption of remobilized cumulates associated with high-SiO2 rhyolites may be a common process at the Aeolian volcanoes, as already attested for a variety of volcanic systems around the world.

  19. Optical Properties of Aeolian Dusts Common to West Texas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Both recent models and historical events such as the Dust Bowl and volcanic eruptions have illustrated aerosols can play a significant role in climate change through direct and indirect optical effects. Soil dust aerosols generated by Aeolian processes represent a significant fraction of the total ...

  20. Self-Organised Criticality at the Onset of Aeolian Sediment Transport.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McMenamin, R.; Cassidy, R.; McCloskey, J.

    2002-12-01

    Despite decades of rigorous investigation, reliable prediction of aeolian sediment transport rates remains impossible. Transport rate formulae are based on the governing principle of steady state equilibrium such that wind velocity produces a linear response in sediment flux. Field experiments, however, demonstrate a highly non-linear response and considerable deviation exists between observed and predicted transport rates. The limited predictive ability of the transport rate equations is largely attributed to crude measurement techniques that characterise wind velocity and sediment flux as time averaged values on the order of minutes, effectively concealing a time scale on the order of seconds in which the equilibrium condition is established. All attempts to resolve a characteristic time scale persistently reveal complexity. From the study of multi-component systems, it is now becoming apparent that such non-linearity is a pervasive attribute of system dynamics. Wind tunnel experiments were conducted to examine the nature of steady state sand transport under uniform forcing. Images of grains traversing an illuminated plane in the tunnel were acquired by video camera at a rate of 10 frames per second. A suite of image analysis techniques were then applied to quantify the volume of sand recorded in sequences of thousands of images and a transport time series generated. Wind velocity measurements were also acquired simultaneously with transport measurements. In contradiction to the steady state hypothesis, sand transport events obeyed a clear power-law scaling (number - size) over about 2.5 orders of magnitude, consistent with the dynamics of self-organised critical systems and suggesting that the dynamics of aeolian sediment transport are similar to those of avalanches observed in a sand pile. Such systems are inherently unpredictable - a fact which may contribute to our understanding of the intractability of the aeolian transport problem.

  1. Aeolian Abrasion at the Curiosity Landing Site: Clues to the Role of Wind in Landscape Modification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bridges, N. T.; Le Mouélic, S.; Hallet, B.; Newman, C. E.; Rice, M. S.; Blaney, D. L.; Calef, F. J.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Langevin, Y.; Lewis, K. W.; Maurice, S.; Pinet, P. C.; Wiens, R. C.; de Pablo, M.; Renno, N. O.

    2013-12-01

    The broad scale geomorphology of Gale Crater reflects diverse aeolian processes, from airfall settling that likely deposited much of the upper and some of the lower units of Mt. Sharp, to evidence of extensive wind exhumation and removal of material exterior to the mound, to active dunes on the crater floor. The integrated effect of aeolian sand transport can also be examined on a much smaller scale by the study of ventifacts, rocks that have been abraded by windborne particles. A diversity of ventifacts are found along Curiosity's traverse through the upper 'hummocky' (HY) geomorphic unit and the lower Yellowknife Bay (YKB) sedimentary rocks. The textures are analogous to abrasion features found on Earth and include cm-scale facets, keels, elongated pits, grooves, flutes, and basal sills. High-resolution images from ChemCam's Remote Micro-Imager also show mm-scale lineations. Evidence of differential erosion is common, with HY conglomerates (e.g., Hottah, Link) and the YKB Sheepbed mudstone unit containing distinct wind tails in the lee of resistant pebbles, and bedding features within Rocknest 3, the YKB Shaler sandstone unit, and other layered rocks displaying prominent ridge-groove topography. ChemCam LIBS depth profile data so far show no strong evidence for chemical differences in the elemental composition between abraded and non-abraded surfaces (as determined from qualitative assessment), as might be expected if there were rock coatings or weathering rinds undergoing active abrasion. Preliminary measurements of ventifact texture and wind tail orientations indicate sandblasting in HY and YKB from predominantly southwesterly and northerly directions, respectively. Based on meso-scale models of current winds and REMS results, SW flow is uncommon whereas N winds are frequent. Compositional and textural information from the suite of MSL instruments indicate that HY rocks are dominated by various types of basalt (either as whole rocks or the resistant clasts in

  2. Laboratory studies of aeolian sediment transport processes on planetary surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rasmussen, Keld R.; Valance, Alexandre; Merrison, Jonathan

    2015-09-01

    , but not all, older or recent wind tunnel observations. Similarly some measurements performed with uniform sand samples having grain diameters of the order of 0.25-0.40 mm indicate that ripple spacing depends on friction velocity in a similar way as particle jump length. The observations are thus in agreement with a recent ripple model that link the typical jump length to ripple spacing. A possible explanation for contradictory observations in some experiments may be that long observation sequences are required in order to assure that equilibrium exists between ripple geometry and wind flow. Quantitative understanding of saltation characteristics on Mars still lacks important elements. Based upon image analysis and numerical predictions, aeolian ripples have been thought to consist of relatively large grains (diameter > 0.6 mm) and that saltation occurs at high wind speeds (> 26 m/s) involving trajectories that are significantly longer than those on Earth (by a factor of 10-100). However, this is not supported by recent observations from the surface of Mars, which shows that active ripples in their geometry and composition have characteristics compatible with those of terrestrial ripples (Sullivan et al., 2008). Also the highest average wind speeds on Mars have been measured to be < 20 m/s, with even turbulent gusts not exceeding 25 m/s. Electrification is seen as a dominant factor in the transport dynamics of dust on Mars, affecting the structure, adhesive properties and detachment/entrainment mechanisms specifically through the formation of aggregates (Merrison et al., 2012). Conversely for terrestrial conditions electric fields typically observed are not intense enough to significantly affect sand transport rates while little is known in the case of extra-terrestrial environments.

  3. INVITED PAPER: The characteristics of the Aeolian tone radiated from two-dimensional cylinders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujita, Hajime

    2010-02-01

    Aerodynamic sound radiated from cylindrical objects, such as in a pantograph of a train, is a prime noise source in high-speed vehicles. The objective of this paper is to understand the generation mechanism of aerodynamic sound radiated from two-dimensional cylinders. Basic theories for aeroacoustics are reviewed. Three contributions to the field of experimental investigations of the Aeolian tone generation mechanism by the present author are reviewed. The structure of the low-noise wind tunnel and the use of proper model end plate construction to control acoustical and flow fields are discussed in section 3. Experimental investigation on the characteristics of aerodynamic sound radiated from two-dimensional models, such as a circular cylinder, square cylinders with or without rounded corners and a cylinder with modified square cross-section, is discussed in section 4. Experimental investigation of Aeolian tone generation and its relation with surface pressure fluctuation on a circular cylinder at moderate to high Reynolds number flow are discussed in section 5.

  4. Reflectance characteristics and surface processes in stabilized dune environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jacobberger, P. A.

    1989-01-01

    Analysis of multitemporal TM data for three environmentally related field areas yields information on the response characteristics of stabilized dunes and desert-fringe environments. The three field sites studied include dune fields in Egypt, Mali, and Botswana, ranging in climate from hyperarid to semiarid, and may be classed as an environmental series relating surface processes under Saharan, Sahelian, and Savanna conditions. Sites were field mapped and monitored with TM data for lengths of time up to a year. The complexity of spectral response characteristics is greatest where vegetation is dense and diverse, but study of the three environments together places constraints on the importance of vegetation to spectral response as well as to mechanisms of sand transport. In both Mali and Botswana, the Sahelian and Savanna environments, contrast reversals occur on dune crests and reflectance patterns change through the dry season to resemble the response curves of the hyperarid study site in Egypt. In these analyses, overall surface brightness is controlled by sand composition, while spectral features are controlled by vegetation dynamics.

  5. Activation of vegetated parabolic dunes into mobile barchans under potential environmental change scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Na; Baas, Andreas C. W.

    2016-04-01

    Parabolic dunes are a quintessential example of the co-evolution of soil, landform, and vegetation, and they are found around the world, on coasts, river valleys, lake shores, and margins of deserts and steppes. These areas are often sensitive to changes in natural and anthropogenic forcings and socio-economic activities. Some studies have indicated parabolic dunes can lose vegetation and transform into barchan and transverse dunes by environmental change such as decreased precipitation or lowered water table, as well as anthropogenic stress such as increased burning and grazing. These transformations and shifts between states of eco-geomorphic systems may have significant implications on land management and social-economic development. This study utilises the Extended-DECAL - parameterised by field measurements of dune topography and vegetation characteristics combined with remote sensing - to explore how increases in drought stress, wind strength, and grazing stress may lead to the activation of stabilised parabolic dunes into highly mobile barchans. The modelling results show that the mobility of an initial parabolic dune at the outset of perturbations determines to a large extent the capacity of a system to absorb the environmental change, and a slight increase in vegetation cover of an initial parabolic dune can increase the activation threshold significantly. Plants with a higher deposition tolerance increase the activation threshold for the climatic impact and sand transport rate, whereas the erosion tolerance of plants influences the patterns of resulting barchans. The change in the characteristics of eco-geomorphic interaction zones may indirectly reflect the dune stability and predict an ongoing transformation, whilst the activation angle may be potentially used as a proxy of environmental stresses. In contrast to the natural environmental changes which tend to affect relatively weak and young plants, grazing stress can exert a broader impact on all

  6. Present-day aeolian activity in Herschel Crater, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardinale, Marco; Silvestro, Simone; Vaz, David A.; Michaels, Timothy; Bourke, Mary C.; Komatsu, Goro; Marinangeli, Lucia

    2016-02-01

    In this report, we show evidence for ripple and dune migration in Herschel Crater on Mars. We estimate an average dune migration of 0.8 m and a minimum ripple migration of 1.1 m in a time span of 3.7 Earth-years. These dunes and ripples are mainly shaped by prevailing winds coming from the north, however we also report the presence of secondary winds which elongate the barchans' horns. Such a complex wind scenario is likely caused by the influence of winds blowing off the western crater rim as suggested by the Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (MRAMS), an atmospheric mesoscale model. A multi-directional wind regime at the local scale is also supported by the observed bimodal distribution of the ripple trends. For the first time, a survey integrating the assessment of dune and ripple migration is presented, showing how dune topography can influence the migration patterns of ripples and how underlying topography appears to control the rates of dune migration.

  7. Aeolian to shallow-marine shelf architecture off a major desert since the Late Pleistocene (northern Mauritania)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanebuth, T. J. J.; Mersmeyer, H.; Kudrass, H. R.; Westphal, H.

    2013-12-01

    Continental shelves off major desert regions are not expected to host substantial amounts of sediments due to long-lasting and unfocused material supply and a high re-mobilization potential of aeolian material. This study, in contrast, demonstrates that significant volumes of sediments have accumulated on the northern Mauritanian shelf under the arid climate conditions and prevail over consecutive climatic cycles. Eight late Pleistocene to Holocene depositional units, each formed under contrasting depositional conditions, are identified in high-resolution seismo-acoustic data and dated sediment cores. These are: (1) a highly differentiated Pleistocene paleo-landscape older than the past climatic cycle, (2) a continental dune complex (MIS-4), (3) a thick regressive shallow-water clinoform (late MIS-3), (4) a regressive to lowstand shore deposit (latest MIS-3), and (5) a local transgressive cover (LGM to deglacial). Additionally, (6) an open-shelf highstand cover, (7) an outer-shelf highstand wedge and (8) mid-shelf mud depocenters have formed during the Holocene sea-level highstand. The common local offshore formation and preservation of confined stratigraphic units, in particular from during MIS-3, mark the interplay of: a) episodes of pronounced arid climatic conditions resulting in enhanced aeolian and coastal sediment input, b) shelf current patterns focusing sediment deposition locally, and c) early post-depositional sediment stabilization providing protection against erosion. Prominent internal surfaces at 63 and 115 m modern water depths indicate widespread and intense erosional activity during late MIS-3 regression and MIS-2 lowstand to post-LGM transgression, hosting coarse shell sands and gravels from beach and shoreface paleo-environments. The reasons for the high preservation potential of confined stratigraphic units are: a) carbonaceous cementation, b) sediment composition (massive widespread shore-related gravel and shell beds with subtle minor

  8. Towards a phoenix phase in aeolian research: shifting geophysical perspectives from fluvial dominance

    SciTech Connect

    Whicker, Jeffrey J; Field, Jason P; Breshears, David D

    2008-01-01

    Aeolian processes are a fundamental driver of earth surface dynamics, yet the importance of aeolian processes in a broader geosciences context may be overshadowed by an unbalanced emphasis on fluvial processes. Here we wish to highlight that aeolian and fluvial processes need to be considered in concert relative to total erosion and to potential interactions, that relative dominance and sensitivity to disturbance vary with mean annual precipitation, and that there are important scale-dependencies associated with aeolian-fluvial interactions. We build on previous literature to present relevant conceptual syntheses highlighting these issues. We then highlight the relative investments that have been made in aeolian research on dust emission and management relative to that in fluvial research on sediment production. Literature searches highlight that aeolian processes are greatly understudied relative to fluvial processes when considering total erosion in different environmental settings. Notably, within the USA, aeolian research was triggered by the Dust Bowl catastrophe of the 1930s, but the resultant research agencies have shifted to almost completely focusing on fluvial processes, based on number of remaining research stations and on monetary investments in control measures. However, numerous research issues associated with intensification of land use and climate change impacts require a rapid ramping up in aeolian research that improves information about aeolian processes relative to fluvial processes, which could herald a post-Dust Bowl Phoenix phase in which aeolian processes are recognized as broadly critical to geo- and environmental sciences.