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3.1.3: Phase 2 - Linear Dunes

  • Page ID
    10999
  • Phase 2 focused on linear dunes. Curiosity passed through a break in the sand between two linear dunes, investigating the bedforms and sand (Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\)). These investigations occurred during the high-wind season. The focus of Phase 2 was thus to characterize sediment transport and to understand how changes in wind direction might cause the linear dune form.

    Satellite image with the rover path and dune names marked.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Satellite image of the Phase 2 investigation area showing the Curiosity rover path (white line) with the sols (martian days numbered from landing) where key data were collected as part of the dune campaign.  Dune names are shown, with Nathan Bridges and Mount Desert Island dunes the focus of most of the observations. Image credit: Lapotre et al., 2018.

    Summaries of the activities in Phase 2 are provided by Emily Lakdawalla in a blog and in section 2.2 of Lapotre et al. (2018).  Briefly, Curiosity investigated two sides and the crest of Nathan Bridges dune and then moved to Mount Desert Island dune to sample the sand and observe sand grain transport.

    Mastcam image of a dune.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\): Nathan Bridges dune with the hardware of the Curiosity rover in the foreground and Mount Sharp in the background. This image is from the Mapleton location on Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\). Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS