Sand Sheet

  • Matthew Chojnacki
  • Ákos Kereszturi
Living reference work entry


Sand-covered area with a featureless, low-relief surface and without superimposed individual dunes or high-order bedforms.

A type of aeolian sand deposits.


Featureless, nearly horizontally stratified continuous deposits (Grotzinger et al. 2005) of windblown fine-grained particles with low thermal inertia. Their surface may be smooth and nearly featureless, but there are often tabular-planar depositional features and various ripple-like bedforms observed (Breed et al. 1987). Sand sheets range from 100 s m2 to 100,000 m2 on Earth. Thickness can range from several centimeters to 10s m (Pye and Tsoar 1990).


  1. 1.

    Sand sheet: sheetlike sand blankets with broad, flat surface and distinct geographic boundaries. Their sand is poorly sorted (Pye and Tsoar 1990) and often shows a bimodal grain size population (silt, fine sand or poorly sorted coarse sand). They may contain ripples and zibars and are usually peripheral to major dune areas but occasionally adjoin them.


Aeolian Sand Dune Field Sand Sheet Southern Highland Sand Supply 
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. Breed CS, McCauley JF, Davis PA (1987) Ripple blankets: geomorphic evidence for regional sand sheet deposits on Mars. XVII Lunar Planet Sci Conf 18:127Google Scholar
  2. Chojnacki M, and Moersch JE (2009) Valles Marineris dune fields: thermophysical properties, morphology, and provenance. XL Lunar planetary Science, vol XL, Abstract 2486Google Scholar
  3. Chojnacki M, Burr DM, Moersch JE (2014) Valles Marineris dune fields as compared with other Martian populations: diversity of dune compositions, morphologies, and thermophysical properties. Icarus 230:96–142. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2013.08.018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Grotzinger JP, Arvidson RE, Bell JF, Calvin W, Clark BC, Fike DA, Golombek M, Greeley R, Haldemann A, Herkenhoff KE, Jolliff BL, Knoll AH, Malin M, McLennan SM, Parker T, Soderblom L, Sohl-Dickstein JN, Squyres SW, Tosca NJ, Watters WA (2005) Stratigraphy and sedimentology of a dry to wet eolian depositional system, Burns formation, Meridiani Planum, Mars. Earth Planet Sci Lett 240(1):11–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hayward RK, Mullins KF, Fenton LK, Hare TM, Titus TN, Bourke M, Colprete A, Christensen PR (2007) Mars digital dune database. J Geophys Res (Planets) 112. doi:10.1029/2007JE002943Google Scholar
  6. Mangold N et al (2011) Segregation of olivine grains in volcanic sands in Iceland and implications for Mars. Earth Planet Sci Lett 310:233–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Maxwell TA (2005) Stability of Selima Planum, Earth and implications for Meridiani Planum, Mars. In: The geological society of America annual meeting, Salt Lake City, paper no 22–7.
  8. McKee ED (1979) Introduction to a study of global sand seas. In: McKee ED (ed) A study of global sand seas, vol 1052, U.S. geological survey professional paper. U.S. G.P.O, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  9. Pye K, Tsoar H (1990) Aeolian sand and sand dunes. Unwin Hyman, London, p 396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Thomas DSG (1989) Aeolian sand deposits. In: Thomas DSG (ed) Arid zone geomorphology. Belhaven Press, London, pp 232–261Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lunar and Planetary LaboratoryUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Konkoly Thege Miklos Astronomical InstituteResearch Center for Astronomy and Earth SciencesBudapestHungary