Dune length scale airflow modelling provides new insights on aeolian bedform response and complex near surface 3D wind patterns not previously resolved by mesoscale models. At a 1‐m surface resolution, Curiosity wind data is used to investigate the aeolian environment of the Namib dune on Mars, providing improved seasonal constraints on grainfall, grainflow activity and ripple migration. Based on satellite images, airflow patterns, and surface shear stress, enhanced aeolian activity and slipface advancement occurs during early springtime. Autumn and winter winds are also favorable to aeolian activity but minimal movement was detected in satellite images overlapping with wind data. During the summer, the migration of large stoss ripples on the Namib dune may augment sediment deposition on the slipface. These results provide a better understanding of the overall migration pattern of the Namib dune which can be extrapolated to other dunes in the Bagnold Dune Field.
Cornwall, C., Jackson, DWT., Bourke, M., Beyers, M., & Cooper, A. (2018). Seasonal variations in airflow over the Namib Dune, Gale Crater, Mars: Implications for dune dynamics. Geophysical Research Letters, 45(18), 9498-9507. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL079598