Abstract

Extremely high atmospheric wind velocities are needed to erode particulate matter on Mars. Settling velocities are roughly equivalent to terrestrial settling velocities for clay to fine sand-size particles; suspension transport may be dominant for fine particles on Mars. Yellow clouds suggest that required threshold erosion velocities are reached and that a great deal of fine-grained material is carried in suspension. Yellow cloud origins are concentrated over the southern latitudes and areas of major topographic relief. The cloud distribution pattern suggests that high threshold velocities are attained by transient atmospheric disturbances such as slope winds and dust devils.

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