Experiments in Reduced Gravity

Experiments in Reduced Gravity

Sediment Settling on Mars

1st Edition - September 5, 2014

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  • Author: Nikolaus Kuhn
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128004623
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780127999654

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Experiments in Reduced Gravity: Sediment Settling on Mars is the first book to be published that reflects experiments conducted on Martian geomorphology in reduced gravity. This brief yet important book on sediment experiments assesses the theoretical and empirical foundation of the models used to analyze the increasing information we have on the past geography on Mars. The book also evaluates the need to develop new methods for analyzing new information by providing a conceptual outline and a case study on how experiments can be used to test current theoretical considerations. The conceptual approach to identifying the need for and role of experiments will be of interest to planetary scientists and geoscientists not necessarily involved with Mars, but those using experiments in their research who can apply the book’s concepts.

Key Features

  • Includes figures, diagrams, illustrations, and photographs to vividly explore experiments and outcomes in reduced gravity
  • Provides an outline of planned experiments and questions related to Martian geomorphology
  • Features results from the MarsSedEx 1 Experiment in 2012


Planetary scientists, geologists and sedimentologists

Table of Contents

    • Preface
    • Acknowledgments
    • Chapter 1: Sediment, Life, and Models on Mars
      • Abstract
      • 1.1. Sediments and life on Mars at Gale crater
      • 1.2. Sedimentation and the traces of life on Mars
      • 1.3. Process description in geomorphic models
      • 1.4. Sediment transport models on Mars
    • Chapter 2: Overview of Mars
      • Abstract
      • 2.1. Mars and Earth
      • 2.2. Geologic history of Mars
      • 2.3. Researching Mars
    • Chapter 3: Search for Life on Mars
      • Abstract
      • 3.1. Prespace age research
      • 3.2. Looking for life on Mars
      • 3.3. Current strategies for Mars exploration
      • 3.4. Looking for sites containing traces of life
    • Chapter 4: Modeling Sedimentation
      • Abstract
      • 4.1. Particle settling
      • 4.2. Modeling terminal velocity of settling particles
      • 4.3. Sediment shape and concentration
      • 4.4. Implications of reduced gravity for sediment settling velocity on Mars
    • Chapter 5: Experiments on Martian Surface Properties and Processes
      • Abstract
      • 5.1. Experiments in geosciences
      • 5.2. Determining the aim of an experiment
      • 5.3. Simulating settling velocity on Mars
      • 5.4. Designing an experiment for measuring settling velocity onboard a reduced gravity flight
    • Chapter 6: MarsSedEx I: Instrument Development
      • Abstract
      • 6.1. Scientific aims and design of the MarsSedEx I instruments
      • 6.2. One-Chamber Settling Tube (OCST) experiment
      • 6.3. Three-Chamber Settling Tube (TCST)
      • 6.4. Structural stability, safety, and feasibility considerations
    • Chapter 7: Preparing and Flying the MarsSedEx I Research Flight
      • Abstract
      • 7.1. Getting ready to fly
      • 7.2. MarsSedEx I flight activities
    • Chapter 8: The Human Dimension of Reduced Gravity
      • Abstract
      • 8.1. The human dimension
    • Chapter 9: Key Results of the MarsSedEx I Mission
      • Abstract
      • 9.1. MarsSedEx I mission objectives
      • 9.2. One-chamber settling tube results
      • 9.3. Three-chamber settling tube results
      • 9.4. Conclusions from MarsSedEx I flights
    • Chapter 10: MarsSedEx II
      • Abstract
      • 10.1. Aims and objectives of MarsSedEx II
      • 10.2. Development of MarsSedEx II instruments
      • 10.3. Sediment particle selection
      • 10.4. Set-up and flight plan of the MarsSedEx II
      • 10.5. Problems during the MarsSedEx II flight
    • Chapter 11: MarsSedEx II Results
      • Abstract
      • 11.1. Determining model output quality for real sediment
      • 11.2. Measurement of settling velocities for MarsSedEx II
      • 11.3. Replicability of reduced gravity experiments
      • 11.4. Density of spherical particles
      • 11.5. Diameter and settling velocity of basalt spheres
      • 11.6. Particle shape effects on settling velocity
      • 11.7. Settling of “real” Martian sediment
      • 11.8. Summary of MarsSedEx II observations and model results
    • Chapter 12: Outlook: More Experiments or Better Models for Sedimentation on Mars?
      • Abstract
      • 12.1. MarsSedEx and surface processes on Mars
      • 12.2. Modeling fluvial processes on Mars
      • 12.3. Moving forward: focus on Martian hydrology
      • 12.4. Linking models from Earth to Mars
    • Appendix I: Mars Missions
    • Appendix II: Equations
    • Appendix III: Research Proposal MarsSedEx II
    • Appendix IV: MarsSedEx II Flight Plan

Product details

  • No. of pages: 50
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2014
  • Published: September 5, 2014
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128004623
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780127999654

About the Author

Nikolaus Kuhn

Nikolaus J. Kuhn, Ph.D., Professor, Physical Geography and Environmental Change, University of Basel. Prof. Kuhn is currently Assistant Editor for Catena, an interdisciplinary journal of soil science, hydrology and geomorphology. As an expert in geographical sciences, Prof. Kuhn has lectured in institutions across the world. In this title he uses his research to focus on surface processes such as soil erosion, geochemical cycles and eco-hydrology. He investigates the wider impact of these processes on the landscape and the planet as a whole, linking Earth Systems Science and Geography.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Switzerland

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