This award, provided by the Antarctic Geology and Geophysics Program of the Office of Polar Programs, supports a project to study eolian processes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. This research project will use the unique natural laboratory provided by the McMurdo Dry Valleys to study fundamental processes associated with airflow and sediment transport by wind on rough surfaces. The research will quantify the partitioning of wind shear stress between roughness elements (in this case, boulders) and the intervening surface using novel instrumentation (Irwin Sensors) recently developed and tested in field and laboratory wind tunnel experiments. The field data will be used to test existing models of shear stress partitioning and to develop new empirical models for relations between winds, surface roughness element distribution and geometry, and sediment transport rates. The research will extend on-going studies of these relations on sparsely vegetated surfaces to unvegetated rough surfaces, such those found in arid terrains on Earth and Mars. This work will provide fundamental data on shear stress partitioning between the roughness elements and the intervening surface for a range of rocky desert and sand sheet sites. This will enable testing and improvement of existing theoretical models for shear stress partitioning. The research will lead to the development of an improved and universally applicable model for estimating sediment transport by wind on surfaces that are covered by varying densities of non-erodible roughness elements.