Morphologic Diversity of Martian Ripples: Implications for LargeRipple Formation Academic Article uri icon


  • 2018. The Authors. Large ripples with meter-scale wavelengths are ubiquitous across Mars. Curiosity's traverse of the Bagnold Dune Field revealed a morphologic diversity of large Martian ripples that helps constrain their formative mechanism. Large ripples develop in isolated fields and on dunes. They form transversely and obliquely to longitudinally to the net sand-flux direction in unimodally and bimodally distributed very fine to very coarse sand. They have either straight or sinuous crestlines. Inactive ripples are covered with dust, whereas migrating ripples are dust free. Here we present a unifying view of ripples that form in near-bed sediment-transport conditions (encompassing fluid-drag and coarse-grained ripples) to explain the range of large-Martian-ripple morphologies and expand the use of bedforms as environmental indicators.

published proceedings

  • Geophysical Research Letters

author list (cited authors)

  • Lapotre, M., Ewing, R. C., Weitz, C. M., Lewis, K. W., Lamb, M. P., Ehlmann, B. L., & Rubin, D. M.

publication date

  • January 1, 2018 11:11 AM