posted on Aug, 25 2006 @ 06:44 PM
While in the field working in Gold Exploration in one of the most arid deserts in the world (so arid it is one of the few areas with no organics in
the soil//dust layer which covers it) I noticed an interesting phenomenon which is very common there so the locals know it well.
I'm sure this is the case with the driest parts of the world's deserts, but certainly here where the dust is mostly a particulate calcite which
prevents water from penetrating and so it quickly evaporates keeping the surface so dry that laying on it for several hours will desecate you.
The effect is that dust flows like water (and actually much faster) and erodes like materials (dust and loose sediment) as if it were water.
The dust material travels quite a distance (and eroded the walls of our sumps a bit) before becoming fully aeroslized.
I proposed the theory a lot of proposed water erosion on Mars is really a similar dust erosion (this behavior is caused by airation of the soil//dust
so it becomes "explosive" when disturbed) to an amature astronomer big-time Mars fanatic who was very interested in the idea (he's not that amature
he's got connections in Arizona State's planetary program) however I haven't had a chance to throw my idea at the contact I know who is a
Geophysicist on the Mars Rover Program.
I will let you know her thoughts when I receive them, however I am proposing this for debate here.
I will look for further evidence to support my theory of dust-related erosion being primary on the Martian surface and that much of the water-related
erosion is mislabeled and misunderstood.