Reply to "Comment on 'Minimal size of a barchan dune' " Academic Article uri icon


  • We reply to the preceding comment by Andreotti and Claudin on our paper. We show that the equations of the dune model used in our calculations are self-consistent and effectively lead to a dependence of the minimal dune size on the wind speed through the saturation length. Furthermore, we show that Meridiani Planum ripples are probably not a good reference to estimate the grain size of Martian dune sands: the soil in the ripple troughs at the landing site is covered with nonerodible elements ("blueberries"), which increase the minimal threshold for saltation by a factor of 2.0. We conclude that, in the absence of large fragments as the ones found at the landing site, basaltic grains of diameter d=500100m that compose the large, typical dark Martian dunes probably saltate during the strongest storms on Mars. We also show that the wind friction speed u 3.0m/s that we found from the calculations of Martian dunes is within the values of maximum wind speeds that occur during Martian storms a few times a decade. In this manner, the dune model predicts that Martian dunes can be formed under present Martian conditions, with no need to assume other conditions of wind and atmosphere that could have prevailed in the past. 2007 The American Physical Society.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Parteli, E., Duran, O., & Herrmann, H. J.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Parteli, EJR||Duran, O||Herrmann, HJ

publication date

  • December 2007