Tag Archives: erosion

Dunes + Craters = Mars

A Piece of Mars: How do you tell when a planetary landscape shows Mars, instead of Mercury or the Moon or Europa? The easiest way to tell is to look for both craters and dunes, like what's shown here in ...

Dunes carving up rock (3D)

A Piece of Mars: Get out your 3D blue/red glasses (or look here for a 2D version if you can't find them). This is a 3.2x1.8 km (2x1.13 mi) scene showing dark dunes carving lanes 50-70 m (165-230 ft) deep ...

Crater ejecta on old ripples

A Piece of Mars: Mars rarely does anything without drama. Long ago in this 0.96x0.54 km (0.6x0.34 mi) scene, large ripples formed and then, presumably, lithified (turned into rock). Some time after that, an impact formed the crater in the ...

Steno’s principles, or “how to make sense of pretty landscapes”

A Piece of Mars: Nicholas Steno was a 19th century geologist, who came up with some principles that are still used today to guide interpretation of exposed sedimentary rocks. The principles seem a bit obvious, but then some of the ...

Them that make ripples and them that don’t

A Piece of Mars: Higher ground is to the left. You're seeing a tan layer sandwiched between two gray layers in this 0.96x0.54 km (0.6x0.34 mi) scene. Large ripples have accumulated in the lowest area to the right, which is ...

On Mars the wind carves stream channels

A Piece of Mars: This 1.6x2 km (1x1.24 mi) scene mostly shows what wind will do to fine-grained, weakly-consolidated surfaces. It has created topography that further strengthens wind scour in the hollows, which even leave kilometers-long grooves reminiscent of water-carved ...

The spire in Eberswalde crater

A Piece of Mars: OK, you have to bring out the red/blue glasses for this one. (Or click here if you're missing your glasses and want the black and white version.) Eberswalde crater has some lovely layered deposits, long ago ...

Windblown: ancient and recent

A Piece of Mars: HiRISE is celebrating 10 years of success by showcasing its first high resolution image, taken back in 2006. Here is a portion of it, shown at 1/4 the full resolution (the scene is 2.5x2.5 km across). ...

Light and dark

A Piece of Mars: This 0.96x0.54 km (0.6x0.34 mi) late winter scene is a study in contrast. The dark top half is uniformly rippled. This is the shady surface of the main windward side of one of Mars' biggest dunes, ...

Eroded dune

A Piece of Mars: Barchan dunes on Mars have a characteristic crescent shape, with a steep slope ("slip face") on the inside of the sharpest curve (see examples like this, this, these, or this). This image (873x491 m, or 0.54x0.31 ...