Yardangs and Crosshatching

Scaled Image

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU

About this image

The atmosphere of Mars is a dynamic system. Water-ice clouds, fog, and hazes can make imaging the surface from space difficult. Dust storms can grow from local disturbances to global sizes, through which imaging is impossible. Seasonal temperature changes are the usual drivers in cloud and dust storm development and growth.

Eons of atmospheric dust storm activity has left its mark on the surface of Mars. Dust carried aloft by the wind has settled out on every available surface; sand dunes have been created and moved by centuries of wind; and the effect of continual sand-blasting has modified many regions of Mars, creating yardangs and other unusual surface forms.

At the bottom of today's image are typical yardangs. The rest of the image shows the effect of bi-directional wind erosion. While the wind is removing material, long ridges cannot form. Instead, a crosshatched pattern of landforms occurs. Investigating the change in wind regime as evidenced by the crosshatching can lead to insight into the history of this area.

Please see the THEMIS Data Citation Note for details on crediting THEMIS images. 


Image ID: 
V05885011 (View data in Mars Image Explorer)
2003-04-12 18:32
Tue, 2004-07-20
1024 pixels (18 km)
3648 pixels (64 km)
0.0177 km/pixel
0.017829 km/pixel


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