Despite atmospheric and compositional differences on Titan and Earth, the similarity in the shape and spacing of linear dunes of the Belet Sand Sea of Titan and the Namib Sand Sea of Earth suggests that comparisons will yield a better understanding of the dictating factors of duneforming processes. We present a methodology for the collection of dune width and spacing measurements representative of the Namib and Belet sand seas. 94,304 locations in Belet from Cassini SAR images and 5,563 locations in the Namib from IKONOS images are used for measurements. The average width and spacing of linear dunes in Belet are 1,235 m and 2,776 m, respectively, with a standard deviation of 422 and 859 respectively. In the Namib, the average linear dune width and spacing is 736 m and 2,203 m, with a standard deviation of 204 and 592. We also analyze these morphometrics according to potential dictating factors such as elevation and distance to sand sea margins. We establish significant trends according to distance to margin, which confirms that the largest and most widely spaced dunes are generally found in the center of the sand sea. We also observe increasing dune width with increasing elevation. The strongest trend we observe is distance to the western margin in the Namib Sand Sea. In Belet, none of these trends were found to be significant. Analysis of width vs. spacing is significant in both sand seas. The disparity in results of the two sand seas suggests factors such as age, sand sea size, or proximity to source may influence linear dune morphometrics.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Lewis, Corbin Robert, "Linear Dune Morphometrics in Titan’s Belet Sand Sea and a Comparison with the Namib Sand Sea" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 7688.
Belet, Cassini, Linear Dunes, Namibia, Titan, RADAR