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Windblown Dust on Earth, Mars and Venus

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  • 1 Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Research Institute, Iowa, State University, Ames 50010
  • | 2 Physics Department, University of Santa Clara, Santa Clara, Cali. 95050
  • | 3 NASA–Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif, 94035
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Abstract

Attempts to predict threshold speeds for windblown dust and sand on Mars and Venus have raised new questions about the mechanism of soil and sand transport by wind. Estimates of threshold speeds on Mars and Venus are made including the effects of both Reynolds number and interparticle forces of cohesion. The current estimates show lower threshold speeds for small particles than previous estimates by Hess, who assumed that Reynolds number is the only important parameter. These estimates, on the other hand, show somewhat higher threshold speeds than those of Sagan and Bagnold, who assumed that the particles are cohesionless. An optimum particle size results, for which threshold speed is a minimum, contrary to Sagan and Bagnold's prediction.

Abstract

Attempts to predict threshold speeds for windblown dust and sand on Mars and Venus have raised new questions about the mechanism of soil and sand transport by wind. Estimates of threshold speeds on Mars and Venus are made including the effects of both Reynolds number and interparticle forces of cohesion. The current estimates show lower threshold speeds for small particles than previous estimates by Hess, who assumed that Reynolds number is the only important parameter. These estimates, on the other hand, show somewhat higher threshold speeds than those of Sagan and Bagnold, who assumed that the particles are cohesionless. An optimum particle size results, for which threshold speed is a minimum, contrary to Sagan and Bagnold's prediction.

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