Tag Archives: erosion

Huge wind-made cliffs

A piece of Mars: Topography in color is draped over an image of a windblown cliff. The entire shape of the landscape here was formed by wind, from the large 400 m (1312 ft) tall zigzag cliff, to the small ...

Missing bedrock

A piece of Mars: Wind flow on Mars can be quite dramatic. Here, a single wind-sculpted hill stands 1.5 km (0.93 mi) wide and 600 m (1970 ft) high (color shows elevation). That sounds big, but vastly larger is the ...

Martian waves

A piece of Mars: The swirly candy stripes in these big dark dunes are layers inside that have been made visible by wind erosion (the scene is 1.5x0.9 km, or 0.93x0.56 mi). It's rare to see the inside structure of ...

Holes around rocks

A piece of Mars: This scene (509x382 m, or 1670x1253 ft), aside from showing some lovely rippled dunes, has many car-sized boulders in it. Some are surrounded by ditches in the sand, like little moats. Why? The sand is blown ...

The always-changing landscape

A piece of Mars: Over time, windblown sand can wear down a surface. This isn't so common on Earth, where water, ice, and life are more likely to change the landscape, but it's typical of many places on Mars. Here, ...

Flow

A piece of Mars: This is a bit of the flank of Arsia Mons, one of Mars' great volcanoes. The big changes in topography are ancient relics of erosion by lava and great tectonic pulling. What I like is that ...

Debunking Hoagland’s “Glass Worms” with HiRISE

A piece of Mars: Several years ago, a guy named Richard Hoagland claimed that some parallel linear features on Mars looked like the ridges of a transparent earthworm, calling these things "glass worms". Phil Plait debunked it nicely, but Hoagland ...

How we know wind blows down Olympus Mons’ flanks

A piece of Mars: It's similar to my last post, but I love these wind tails. This is a tiny bit of the eastern slope of the gigantic volcano, Olympus Mons. The dusty surface has been covered by boulders (the ...

The wind giveth and the wind taketh away

A piece of Mars: In the center of this image is a 270 m crater (885 ft) that was nearly buried, along with the surrounding terrain, by dust. Since then, wind from the upper left has scoured the dust deposit, ...

Big ripples near Opportunity

A piece of Mars: This shows the location of the rover Opportunity as of late March, 2014. It's been trolling around the rim of Endeavour crater. Just inside the crater, there are some large ripples (the biggest is ~10 m ...