GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 66-9
Presentation Time: 4:05 PM


BURR, Devon M., Astronomy and Planetary Sciences, Northern Arizona University, 527 S Beaver St, Bldg. 19, Rm. 209, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Investigations into planetary Aeolian landscapes and processes are as multifarious as the processes and landscapes themselves. As articulated in the session title, Aeolian activity occurs across the Solar System, on both silicate and icy bodies, with and without atmospheres. The stock-and-trade of investigations into planetary aeolian activity is remote mission data analysis. The resultant discoveries from mission data of new aeolian landscapes and forms drive the rethinking of physical concepts and the reformulation of numerical models. Recent investigations into aeolian landscapes and processes of Mars, Titan, and Pluto illustrate this process of scientific progress. Mission data can also be used to determine sand sources, a critical component of a source-to-sink understanding of global sedimentary cycles, as illustrated by past and on-going investigations into both sand sources and sand origins on Mars and Titan. Laboratory studies can likewise provide important insights into aeolian sediment formation and modification, as shown by recent laboratory investigations into the origin of dust on Mars, the process of sand comminution Mars, and the origin of sand material on Titan. As a complement / subset of laboratory studies, planetary wind tunnel investigations enable simulation of some aspects of aeolian transport and have offered important conceptual and numeric data. The results can provide potential insight into aeolian sediment transport processes, although non-trivial challenges both to and in using the NASA planetary wind tunnels exist. In situ planetary imaging and other data have impelled breakthroughs in understanding aeolian processes. The development and proposal of in situ aeolian investigations for Mars and for Titan point towards the excitement of continued progress and discoveries in our understanding of aeolian activity across our Solar System.