The Physics of Sand Dune Formation and Migration on MarsPublic
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Imagery from several Martian orbiters was analyzed in an attempt to discern movement of Martian sand dunes. Additional imagery from Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity was analyzed to search for evidence of dune movement or saltation at Meridiani Planum, Mars. Data from Opportunity shows that a saltation event occurred sometime in July 2007, at the rim of Victoria Crater. No dune movement was detected, suggesting that dune movement, if it occurs on Mars, is on the scale of centimeters or less per Martian year. Future studies should benefit from added high-resolution satellite imagery, and if current theories on dune movement are correct, dune movement should be discernable from orbit within a few years.
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