CANCELED: Wind-Dominated Landscapes of Earth, Mars, Titan, and Pluto
One of the most exciting relationships we see in comparing planetary surfaces is that wind can create remarkably similar landscapes, even in exotic materials and low-density atmospheres. Giant linear sand dunes found in Earth’s large African and Arabian deserts are identical in size, shape, and behavior to linear dunes on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan – in sand made of organics. Even in the thin atmosphere of Pluto there are dunes – in sand made of methane ice. Soft materials, such as lakebed clay, ash, or methane ice at low temperatures are carved into long ridges, yardangs, by the relentless force of wind over eons, and are widespread on the surface of Mars, are found on Titan and have a unique version on Pluto. Our studies of these landscapes on Earth are revealing the conditions under which these features form and evolve on other solar system bodies.