Dr. Marisa Palucis, Dartmouth College will present “Mars on Earth: Using terrestrial landscapes to quantify the role of climate change on sediment transport rates and processes”
Many landforms found on Earth and Mars are the result of flowing surface water. Understanding how water volumes and climatic conditions are recorded in the form (and sediments) of these features may provide key insights into habitability and climate change on Mars. However, terrestrial studies aimed at quantifying the hydrologic conditions needed to form these geomorphic features rarely assess the total amount of water that passes through a landscape, which can be problematic when inferring past climate. I will present results from several ongoing field-based analog studies. The first is at Meteor Crater (AZ, USA), where work is being conducted to understand sediment transport processes on steep slopes and the amount of water that formed the network of gullies along its inner walls. The second involves the
characterization of sediment transport processes and fluxes across periglacial alluvial fans in the Aklavik Range in the Richard-son Mountains (NWT, CA). Both sites have undergone significant climate change, providing ideal testing grounds for how sediment supply, water availability, and the frequency, duration, and magnitude of sediment transport events change under changing climate.