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Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering pres.

CLASP Seminar Series: Prof. Mathieu Lapôtre

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Prof. Mathieu Lapôtre of Stanford University will give a lecture as part of the CLASP Seminar Series.
Please join us!

Title: "Paleoenvironmental constraints from quantitative sedimentology and geomorphology: Canyon erosion and sand-ripple formation on Mars"

Abstract: The geologic records of terrestrial planets in our Solar System attest to the volatility of habitability. The history of Mars, in particular, is one of dramatic change that transformed a hospitable environment into the barren land we know today. Deciphering Mars’ geologic past using data from orbiting and landed spacecraft requires using and adapting theory and techniques that were developed for Earth. In return, Mars offers a unique test for Earth-based theory under alien boundary conditions. In this presentation, I demonstrate how a mechanistic understanding of surface processes sheds light onto Martian paleohydrology and paleoclimate through two examples: the erosion of bedrock canyons by water, and the formation of sand ripples by winds. Our results have surprising implications for our understanding of terrestrial landscapes and Mars’ potential as a refugium for early life in the Solar System.
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