Professor Devon Burr has a new paper accepted in Geology titled An explosive volcanic origin identified for dark sand in Aeolis Dorsa, Mars. Co-authors include Christina E. Viviano (JHU/APL), Timothy I. Michaels (SETI), and former graduate students Matthew Chojnacki (PSI) and Robert E. Jacobsen (UTK). This paper will soon be available online at DOI: 10.1130/G49814.1.
Although windblown sand is globally distributed on Mars, its origin(s) remained enigmatic. In this work, Burr et al. find support for the long-standing hypothesis of that sand on Mars comes from volcaniclastic deposits, thus providing a sand source that likely operated throughout Martian history. Pathways are demonstrated for locally-derived sand such as the dark, olivine-rich pyroclastic sand sources in the Aeolis Dorsa region, shown below.