(spacer graphic)

Field Trip to Mars

Soap Lake to Moses Lake

Page 11 - Field Trip to Mars: Soap Lake to Moses Lake

Look Up a Word in the Glossary

Return to Start of Field Trip

Field Trip to Mars Site Map

Back One PageForward One Page

Back one page
Forward one page

Sand Dunes

Floodplain rocks
Erratic rocks on the floodplain.

[236.5 MM 64]
A last look at the floodplain before we head south on Highway 17 and continue to Moses Lake and Interstate 90.

[210.2 MM 38]
Junction with State Highway 282, we stay to the left and continue towards Moses Lake.

Hebes Chasma dunes on Mars[245.3 MM 3]
Enter Moses Lake and follow signs to Interstate 90 [251.0] and head East at Mile Marker 180 on I-90. Watch for gravel bars, basalt outcroppings and sand dunes.

Shifting sand dunes like those found in the Hebes Chasma area on Mars (right) can be found near Moses Lake and Pasco, Washington.

When floodwaters backed up behind Walula Gap, near Walla Walla, Washington, they lost their ability to carry eroded loess, sand, gravel and other debris. The sediment from these short term lakes became the source of the sand in this area.

The old lakebeds are very flat making it easier for winds to pick up sand and dust. Also, as the Cascade Mountains rose, they blocked the rainclouds coming in from the Pacific Ocean causing the region to become semi-arid (very dry). This "rain shadow" effect continues to keep the average rainfall of the plateau very low.

Sand Dunes and Martian Winds

Click for more about Sand DunesThis image shows the sand dunes of Nili Patera, Syrtis Major. The size and shape of a dune depends on the ability of winds to pick up and carry sand and the direction the winds blow. In the thin atmosphere of Mars winds can blow up to one hundred km per hour and wind storms can cover the whole planet.

Find out more about Sand Dunes or go on to the NEXT page.

Back one page Forward one page Go back a page or continue on to next page.

Geology Terms

Here are some basic terms used in the tour. Find more geology terms in the Glossary.

Basalt
Volcanic rock caused by partial melting of the Earth's crust.
Erratic
Large rock or boulder carried by water or glaciers and left behind.
Geomorphology
The study of the changes in landforms due to volcanoes,
earthquakes, weather, floods, etc.
Gravel
Rounded rock fragments larger than sand.
Loess
Fine dirt deposited by wind usually from arid or glaciated areas.
Rain Shadow
A mountain or mountain range that blocks rain clouds just as an object might block sunlight to form a shadow. Areas in the shadow are more dry as a result.
Sediment
Collection of sand, silt, gravel and organic material that sinks to the bottom of a river, lake or ocean. Some or all of these materials may be present.

Kids' Cosmos… Expanding Minds Beyond the Limits of the Universe

(divider bar)


Kid's Cosmos
P.O. Box 14077, Spokane, WA 99206-4077
© 2011 Kid's Cosmos
E-mail:

This tour created with the support of:

Film and Developing provided by Rite Aid www.webmaker-nw.com www.runway.net

© 2011 Kid's Cosmos
Kid's Cosmos
on to the next page.

Back one page