dunes

March 18, 2015

Melty dunes

A Piece of Mars: With all due apologies to followers of the show Coupling, I have to call these things “melty dunes”. This link shows what a crisp dune should look like. The dunes in this 600×450 m (0.37×0.28 mi) […]
March 9, 2015

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A piece of Mars: Ripples form endless chevrons in this 600×450 m (0.37×0.30 mi) scene. It’s really the crest of a dune that connects all the vertices in the chevrons, making that straight line that runs nearly vertical through the […]
February 17, 2015

The bright barchan

A piece of Mars: Most dunes on Mars are dark, like these and these. So why is this one bright? It’s adjacent to a more typical, dark dune. It’s possible that there are two populations of sand here that are […]
February 9, 2015

Sometimes I just have no idea

A piece of Mars: The smooth areas are eroded dunes, separated by fields of boulders (the scene is 1.51×1.14 km or 0.93×0.71 mi). The largest boulder near the center is 7.5 m (25 ft) across, the size of a small […]
January 5, 2015

The long, low dune

A piece of Mars: A long, low dune covered in long, linear ripples stretches across the scene (600×450 m; 1969×1476 ft). Dark gray areas on the dune show where sand has most recently moved. A small slip face has formed […]
December 8, 2014

Aeolian shoreline

A piece of Mars: On the left is a steep slope leading to a hill. On the right are waves – but not waves of water or any other kind of liquid. These are dunes or very large ripples, blown […]
September 30, 2014

Lumpy bumpy dunes

A piece of Mars: These funny shaped dunes were formed by winds blowing from two directions – one from the top of the frame and one from the upper right. Both winds make steep slopes (slip faces) on the downwind […]
August 5, 2014

What on Mars?

A piece of Mars: What on Mars is this (the scene is 600×450 m, or 0.37×0.28 mi)? It can be hard to tell. The lines are ridges of windblown dunes or ripples, the dark gray stuff is active sand blowing […]
June 13, 2014

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 […]