" Fluvial sediment transport: an Earth-Mars-Titan comparison "

Devon Burr
SETI Institute
Carl Sagan Center

Titan, Mars, and Earth each have or had a volatile cycle and surficial sediment transport by fluid flow.  The evidence for these processes is apparent in the geologic record, and accessing the information in such deposits contributes to understanding the conditions that formed them.  At this talk will be presented a model of sediment transport by liquid flow on each of these three bodies.  This modeling uses parameters for transport of quartz by water on Earth, basalt by water on Mars, and water ice and organic sediment by liquid methane on Titan.  Hydraulic formulae provide the minimum conditions necessary for sediment entrainment by grain size and enable calculation of settling velocities.  These calculations allow derivation of required flow velocity and depth by grain size for a given slope.  Our results suggest that organic sediment moves more easily on Titan than does sediment on Mars or Earth.  Although water ice sediment would move slightly less easily, hyperconcentration of the flow by organic sediment may serve to facilitate water ice sediment transport.