Wind streaks comprise recent aeolian deposits that have been extensively documented on Venus, Earth and Mars. Martian wind streaks are among the most abundant surface features on the planet and commonly extend from the downwind margins of impact craters. Previous studies of wind streaks emerging from crater interior deposits suggested that the mode of emplacement was primarily related to the deposition of silt-sized particles as these settled from plumes. We have performed geologic investigations of two wind streaks clusters; one situated in western Arabia Terra, a region in the northern hemisphere of Mars, and another in an analogous terrestrial site located in southern Patagonia, Argentina, where occurrences of wind streaks emanate from playas within maar craters. In both these regions we have identified bedforms in sedimentary deposits on crater floors, along wind-facing interior crater margins, and along wind streaks. These observations indicate that these deposits contain sand-sized particles and that sediment migration has occurred via saltation from crater interior deposits to wind streaks. In Arabia Terra and in Patagonia wind streaks initiate from crater floors that contain lithic and evaporitic sedimentary deposits, suggesting that the composition of wind streak source materials has played an important role in development. Spatial and topographic analyses suggest that regional clustering of wind streaks in the studied regions directly correlates to the areal density of craters with interior deposits, the degree of proximity of these deposits, and the craters' rim-to-floor depths. In addition, some (but not all) wind streaks within the studied clusters have propagated at comparable yearly (Earth years) rates. Extensive saltation is inferred to have been involved in its propagation based on the studied terrestrial wind streak that shows ripples and dunes on its surface and the Martian counterpart changes orientation toward the downslope direction where it extends into an impact crater. ?? 2009 Elsevier B.V.
Additional publication details
The sedimentology and dynamics of crater-affiliated wind streaks in western Arabia Terra, Mars and Patagonia, Argentina