Factors affecting the electrification of wind-driven dust studied with laboratory simulations

J. P. Merrison, H. P. Gunnlaugsson, M. R. Hogg, M. Jensen, J. M. Lykke, M. Bo Madsen, M. B. Nielsen, P. Nørnberg, T. A. Ottosen, R. T. Pedersen, S. Pedersen, A. V. Sørensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The electrification of wind-blown dust grains was studied in a series of laboratory experiments to examine how grain electrification depends on grain size, grain mineralogy, atmospheric composition, atmospheric pressure, and the method of dust dispersal. This work is intended to contribute to a deeper physical understanding of particle electrification on both Mars and Earth. Findings indicate that the amount of electrification per suspended particle generally is independent of dust entrainment process and atmospheric composition. As expected, the electrification process is grain size-dependent, with smaller grains predominantly electrifying negatively. Although there appears to be a weak dependence upon dust mineralogy, this work supports the expectation that dust suspended in the Martian atmosphere will be significantly electrified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-335
Number of pages8
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Aerosol
  • Dust
  • Electrification
  • Mars
  • Wind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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