Tag Archives: barchan

Is it an old fossil barchan dune?

A Piece of Mars: There are many barchans on Mars, those lovely isolated crescent-shaped dunes. In a few places there are what looks like ancient preserved barchans, now lithified. The mound in the center of this 0.96x0.54 km (0.6x0.33 mi) ...

Curiosity, recovering from the Bagnold dunes campaign

A Piece of Mars: You'll probably want to click on this image to see the whole thing, it's pretty big, and it's worth seeing. This 850x550 m (0.53x0.34 mi) scene shows the barchanoid dunes of the Bagnold dune field, imperceptibly ...

Where on Mars is this dune?

A Piece of Mars: This 0.48x0.27 km (0.3x0.17 mi) scene shows a rotund barchan dune. Can you tell from looking at it where on Mars it might be? To me the most obvious feature are the bumpy piles at the ...

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 ...

Itty bitty changes: places where the wind barely moves sand

A Piece of Mars: Not all dunes on Mars are moving at a measurable pace. This 0.96x0.45 km (0.6x0.28 mi) scene looks a lot like one I posted 3 years ago called Martian Sports. This image shows the same dunes ...

Dune trails

A Piece of Mars: The dark dunes in this 0.96x0.54 km (0.60x0.34 mi) scene are slowly migrating towards the lower left. Look closer and you'll see brighter ripples between the dunes - the biggest ones are ~8m (26 ft) apart. ...

Dust devils and wind scours on ripples on dunes

A piece of Mars: So much wind. There are dark swirly tracks of dust devils that have passed by, ripples covering dunes, wind scours around rocks, and of course dunes. Dune crests have a different color than other regions: are ...

Small dunes on Mars

A piece of Mars: These dunes are some of the smallest on Mars. The smallest in this frame is ~150 m long (492 ft). But the smallest Earth dunes are ~20 m across. Why are they so much bigger on ...

Summery dune

A piece of Mars: Last December I blogged about a picture of a sand dune taken in early northern spring. This is the same dune, without frost, now that summer has come to the northern hemisphere and all the frost ...

Whither the wind

A piece of Mars: Which way did the wind blow here? You can tell by looking at the dune and its ripples. The slip face (the avalanching slope of the dune) faces downwind, so the strongest wind here mainly blows ...