Sand transport on Mars Academic Article uri icon


  • Whether the winds of the present Mars are shaping the variety of dune forms observed on the Martian surface has remained an open question that challenged planetary scientists for decades. In order to elucidate this issue, we have studied sand transport and dune formation from two different points of view. The first approach consists of solving the equations of aeolian transport at the level of the particles, whereas we study the trajectories and the velocities of sand grains during Martian wind storms. Next, we adapt a well established continuum model for sand dunes, which successfully reproduces the shape of Earth dunes, in order to study the formation of dunes under atmospheric conditions of Mars. Based on our results, we provide estimates for the wind strength, dune velocity and the timescale of changes in wind directions on Mars. 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Parteli, E., Almeida, M. P., Duran, O., Andrade, J., & Herrmann, H. J.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Parteli, Eric JR||Almeida, Murilo P||Duran, Orencio||Andrade, Jose S Jr||Herrmann, Hans J

publication date

  • January 2009