Mars for Earthlings > Lesson Modules > Vast Deserts on Mars

Vast Deserts on Mars

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Using a Sandbox experiment and Google Earth students will study the formation of dunes and relate their observations to Mars dune field imagery.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

Context for Use

This learning module is meant for adaptation in an introductory earth science course and/or planetary science course.  The In-Class Activities can be easily adapted for homework when desired.

Description and Teaching Materials

Compiled In-Class Activities and Homework

In-Class Activity


Teaching Notes and Tips


Methods of assessment are within each individual In-Class Activity and Homework.

References and Resources

  1. Image file: Vast Deserts on Mars (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 7.8MB Oct31 12)
  2. Antarctica Ventifacts (image to the right)
  3. Sand Box Dune Video (Quicktime MP4 Video 28MB Mar11 14)
  4. Grotzinger, J.P. et al., 2005. Stratigraphy and sedimentology of a dry to wet eolian depositional system, Burns formation, Meridiani Planum, Mars. Earth & Planetary Science Letters, v. 240, p.11-72.
  5. Burns Formation PanCam Sol 288 Image Source