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An Aeolian Grainflow Model for Martian Recurring Slope Lineae.

Authors
  • Dundas, Colin M1
  • 1 U.S. Geological Survey, Astrogeology Science Center, 2255 N. Gemini Dr., Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Icarus
Publisher
Elsevier BV
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2020
Volume
343
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2020.113681
PMID: 34211190
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Recurring Slope Lineae (RSL) on Mars have been enigmatic since their discovery; their behavior resembles a seeping liquid but sources of water remain puzzling. This work demonstrates that the properties of RSL are consistent with observed behaviors of Martian and terrestrial aeolian processes. Specifically, RSL are well-explained as flows of sand that remove a thin coating of dust. Observed RSL properties are supportive of or consistent with this model, which requires no liquid water or other exotic processes, but rather indicates seasonal aeolian behavior. These settings and behaviors resemble features observed by rovers and also explain the occurrence of many slope lineae on Mars that do not meet the strict definition of RSL. This indicates that RSL can be explained simply as aeolian features. Other processes may add complexities just as they could modify the behavior of any sand dune.

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