20-EPN2-051: Evaluation of physical parameters influencing the ice particle transportby wind in a Martian-like environment
Visit by Clémence Herny, University of Bern (Switzerland) to TA2.4 Planetary Environment Facilities (PEF), AU (Denmark)
Dates of visit: 16-20 May 2022
Report summary: The transport of ice by wind plays a major role in the surface mass balance of polar caps. Ice can be redistributed by wind due to (1) transport of ice particles and/or (2) transport of water vapour associated with sublimation/condensation. On Mars, although the low atmospheric density is less favourable for the transport of particles than on Earth, both dust and sand have been observed to be transported by wind. Despite ice aeolian landforms have been observed at the surface of the North Polar Cap of Mars, ice particle transport has not been directly observed on the Martian surface. Similarly, no laboratory studies of snow/ice particle transport under Martian-like conditions have been attempted thus far due to the complexity of the material.
In this study we propose to perform experiments in the environmental wind tunnel AWTSII at Aahrus University to study the ice particle transport in a wind-flow under Martian-like pressure and temperature conditions. The threshold shear velocity, which is a critical physical parameter for particle transportation, is determined by analysing the images of the samples acquired during the experimental runs as the wind speed was increased. The influence of ice grain sizes, pressure and temperature are investigated. Results will give constraints on the plausibility of wind driven ice particle transport on Mars.