Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Space & Planetary Sciences (MS)

Degree Level



Space & Planetary Sciences


John C. Dixon

Committee Member

Ralph K. Davis

Second Committee Member

Vincent Chevrier


Earth sciences, Fluvial geomorphology, Gullies, Mars, Recurring slope lineae


Various flow formation features from gullies to recurring slope lineae (RSL) have been identified across the martian surface. The formation of these geologic features are still being determined. Recently, several aspects of these flow features indicate that salt water flows in the subsurface during the warmer months when the ice melts. This paper explores the formation of these processes using laboratory experimental simulations. Experiments were conducted in a wooden flume under varying martian conditions of temperature, slope angle, regolith simulant and a liquid subsurface flow. By adjusting the flume at specific heights, several slopes were obtained to mimic the slopes that RSL are present on. It is concluded that the fluvial geomorphic features that denote whether a flow feature is a gully, RSL or other flow formation feature are mainly based off the slope and environmental conditions. However, other conditions such as fluid solution and composition can also affect the results of channels produced.