Tag Archives: yardangs

Uniquely martian

A piece of Mars: Now here's something that, as far as I know, can safely be labeled as "uniquely martian". These dunes (or maybe they're ripples) are ~25 m wide, and have formed from winds blowing from the upper left. ...

Mars’ fleets of rock “boats”

A piece of Mars: Where the wind blows strong and there's a lot of sand, the surface gets scoured. Some bits of the ground, called yardangs, are more resistant and stick around: they take on shapes elongated in the direction ...

Cloaked rocks

A Piece of Mars: These rocks look like hooded figures from some dark fantasy story. European standing stones should be jealous, they don't typically get a shroud of dark sand to add to their mystery and etch them into beguiling ...

Boulders on high

A piece of Mars: Right at the edge of the largest volcano on Mars (Olympus Mons) is a steep cliff. Here, near that edge, are some car-sized boulders poking out from a thick blanket of dust. Strong winds blow down ...

What the wind brings, the wind takes away

A piece of Mars: These C and S-shaped things were once dunes that marched across the scene (from upper left to lower right), formed from sand deposited by the wind. Then that sand somehow became cemented, locking the dunes in ...

Mars’ giant amphitheater

A piece of Mars: Sandwiched between hills, a huge stepped amphitheater has been carved out of the rock by the wind. The scene is 770x577 m across, with each giant step about 20 m wide. Just imagine a huge concert ...

Bye-bye, crater

A piece of Mars: On Earth, it's typically water that erodes a landscape, as rivers cut down rocks, storms trigger landslides, and ocean waves eat away at shorelines. On Mars, it's usually the wind that slowly grinds down a landscape. ...

A mighty wind

A piece of Mars: I just adore that the wind can do this to a landscape. Over a long period of time, two different winds have scratched deep grooves in a rocky surface. Wind-carved rocks like this are called "yardangs". ...

And the wind blew

A piece of Gale crater, Mars: These are rocks on Mount Sharp, where the Curiosity rover will be headed in the coming months. Like many of the surfaces in Gale crater, these have been streamlined by sandblasting over the eons. ...

Wind erodes rocks into swirls

A piece of Mars: When the wind sandblasts at layered rocks, some pretty swirly patterns emerge. These are flat layers that take on a stacked wedding-cake appearance on an outcrop elongated by the wind. The direction of the stacks indicates ...