Dome Dune

  • Eric J. R. Parteli
Living reference work entry

Later version available View entry history



Circular to elliptical, relatively flat mounds often without external slip faces.



On Mars, they are 40–100 m across and <30 m high with 100–1,000 m spacing (De Hon 2006).


They form where dune height is inhibited by unobstructed strong winds. Strong unidirectional winds retard normal upward growth of dune crests, leading to the formation of dome dunes. Alternatively, they may form when wind velocities are low (Pye and Tsoar 1990 and references therein). Dome dunes may transform into other dune forms. Computer modeling (Parteli et al. 2009) suggests that dome dunes may form if the wind oscillates between two prevailing directions with a period shorter than 0.01 % of the dune’s turnover time, which is the time needed for the dune to cover a distance equal to its own size.

Domes may also be dunes smaller than the critical size for a barchan development where slip faces and horns are not able to evolve (Parteli 2007).



Wind Velocity Sand Dune Turnover Time Dune Field Transient Form 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bristow CS, Jol HM, Augustinus P, Wallis I (2010) Slipfaceless ‘whaleback’ dunes in a polar desert, Victoria Valley, Antarctica: insights from ground penetrating radar. Geomorphology 114:361–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. De Hon RA (2006) Transitional dune forms on Mars. In: Lunar and planetary science conference XXXVII #1361.
  3. Herrmann HJ, Durán O, Parteli EJR, Schatz V (2008) Vegetation and induration as sand dunes stabilizators. J Coast Res 24(6):1357–1368, CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Mainguet M (1984) A classification of dunes based on aeolian dynamics and the sand budget. In: El-Baz F (ed) Deserts and arid lands. Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, pp 31–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Parteli EJR (2007) Sand dunes on Mars and on Earth. Dissertation. Institut für Computerphysik der Universität StuttgartGoogle Scholar
  6. Parteli EJR, Durán O, Tsoar H, Schwämmle V, Herrmann HJ (2009) Dune formation under bimodal winds. Proc Natl Acad Sci 106:22085–22089CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Pye K, Tsoar H (1990) Aeolian sand and sand dunes. Unwin Hyman, London, 396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Schatz V, Tsoar H, Edgett K, Parteli EJR, Herrmann HJ (2006) Evidence for indurated sand dunes in the Martian north polar region. J Geophys Res Planet 111. doi:10.1029/2005JE002514]Google Scholar
  9. Tirsch D (2008) Dark dunes on Mars. Dissertation. Freie Universität Berlin.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Multiskalensimulation Friedrich-Alexander-Universitðt Erlangen-Nürnberg NägelsbachstrErlangenGermany