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Great Sand Dunes National Park

Planetary Dunes Workshop Field Trip, May 2010

A group of forty-plus dunes researchers met in Alamosa, Colorado to talk about solar system dunes. In keeping with tradition, we took a field trip mid-week, this time to Great Sand Dunes National Park, led by Andrew Valdez. This massive pile of sand, the largest in the U.S., is neatly nestled beneath some 14-ers and between two rivers and has impressively tall dunes. Before exploring the dunes, we detoured up to Zapata Falls, on BLM land near the park, and got to see part ice, part water falls. Near the dunes, we crossed Medano Creek and gathered on the edge of the dunes to talk about granule ripples, great martian TAR analogues, led by Jim Zimbleman. We then split and explored, some downriver, some into the dune field. Despite rain and some wind (always a bonus at dune field sites!), we had a beautiful day out on the dunes. The last pictures are from a potential impact crater, then the Rio Grande and some peaks on the way to Pueblo.

Here are my favorites:


Incised meander-? above Zapata Falls Bound for the dunes Daniel, dunes, TARs, and peaks
Dunes from above Ripples and junctions Happy on top

All pictures are below:

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Please credit Jani Radebaugh for all pictures, thank you!