Astrogeology Science Center

Newly Published Article Today on Dunes

15 February 2018

Excerpt: Dune-like structures appear in the depths of Earth’s oceans, across its landscapes, and in the extremities of the solar system beyond. Dunes rise up under the thick dense atmosphere of Venus, and they have been found under the almost unimaginably ephemeral atmosphere of a comet. Understanding how such similar bedforms (structures at the interface of a fluid and a movable solid) originate under such a wide range of environmental conditions is key to our comprehension of surface dynamics throughout the solar system. Because of the difficulty of observing the surfaces of other planets, researchers often study places on Earth where similar geologic processes occur. These places are called planetary analogues or analogue sites. Continue reading.

Photo Credit: Dave Robin.  Navajo Sandstone of fossilized dune.

By Janet Richie