I began my career as a geologist, and in 2006 I was working at the US Geological Survey in Santa Cruz, CA. My specialty was geomorphology – the study of the processes that shape the landscape – rivers, glaciers etc. At the USGS I worked with sedimentologist David Rubin. We made numerical and visual models of sedimentary structures, aka ripples and dunes, aka bedforms. Ripples and dunes are not all alike. Depending on the wind or water flow direction(s), the type of ripple or dune formed will vary. We made simulations of 62 types of bedform, and we also created a morph of one of our models with bedforms seen on the surface of Mars. Inspired by this video showing evidence of an alluvial fan (mouth of a river flowing out of the mountains), I went and uploaded our old Martian morph to Vimeo. It would be super neat to go back to all of these old models and visualizations and remake them with the tools we have available to us today.
David Rubin (USGS) and I created this simulation and video in 2006 showing how bedforms seen on the Martian surface are created. This is one of the first video visualizations of how water moved sand on Mars. Flowing water creates the bedforms seen at the start of the visualization. The simulation is then rotated to match the orientation of the outcrop.
This video was originally published as an extra feature in our 2006 publication, Cross-Bedding and Bedforms in Animation: http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/seds/bedforms/index.html