A comparison of methods used to estimate the height of sand dunes on Mars

Bourke, M.C.; Balme, M.; Beyer, R.A.; Williams, K.K. and Zimbelmand, J. (2006). A comparison of methods used to estimate the height of sand dunes on Mars. Geomorphology, 81(3-4) pp. 440–452.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2006.04.023


The collection of morphometric data on small-scale landforms from other planetary bodies is difficult. We assess four methods that can be used to estimate the height of aeolian dunes on Mars. These are (1) stereography, (2) slip face length, (3) profiling photoclinometry, and (4) Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA). Results show that there is good agreement among the methods when conditions are ideal. However, limitations inherent to each method inhibited their accurate application to all sites. Collectively, these techniques provide data on a range of morphometric parameters, some of which were not previously available
for dunes on Mars. They include dune height, width, length, surface area, volume, and longitudinal and transverse profiles. The utilization of these methods will facilitate a more accurate analysis of aeolian dunes on Mars and enable comparison with dunes on other planetary surfaces.

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