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Dust, Dirt, Sand, and Salt: Deserts, records of climate change

"Dust, Dirt, Sand, and Salt..." is a perspective on deserts as records of climate change. Themes include the origin and evolution of aeolian dune systems and salt pans/playa from the Limestone Coast, Mallee and Simpson deserts of Australia. These will be compared with landscapes and processes seen on Mars and Titan, and the manner in which deserts record climate history. Extreme and catastrophic weather/climate events in relation to desert development, desertification, and re-activation also will be explored.

The analysis of dust, dirt, sand and salt using digital microscopy, as done with the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) onboard the Mars Science Laboratory rover 'Curiosity', alongside orbital-level GIS exploration will enable the study of environmental processes and climatic histories across a variety of space-time scales.

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