Dry granular flows can generate surface features resembling those seen in Martian gullies

Troy Shinbrot, N. H. Duong, L. Kwan, M. M. Alvarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations

Abstract

Over the past decade or more, contradictory evidence of Martian climate, indicating that surface temperatures seldom if ever approach the melting point of water at midlatitudes, and geomorphic features, consistent with liquid flows at these same latitudes, have proven difficult to reconcile. In this article, we demonstrate that several features of liquid-erosional flows can be produced by dry granular materials when individual particle settling is slower than characteristic debris flow speeds. Since the gravitational acceleration on Mars is about one-third that on Earth, and since particle settling speeds scale with gravity, we propose that some (although perhaps not all) Martian geomorphological features attributed to liquid flows may in fact be associated with dry granular flows in the presence of reduced gravity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8542-8546
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume101
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 8 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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