National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Multimedia
'Yardangs' on Mars
'Yardangs' on Mars (click to enlarge)
 
 

'Yardangs' on Mars

These images of 'yardangs', features sculpted by wind-blown sand seen here near Olympus Mons on Mars, were obtained by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board the ESA Mars Express spacecraft.

This image was taken during orbit 143 with a resolution of 20 metres per pixel. This scene shows a structure south of Olympus Mons at 60 N latitude and 2200 E longitude, which was probably formed by the action of the wind.

Loose sand fragments were transported by wind, and impacted on the bedrock, slowly removing parts of the surface, like a sand-blaster. If the winds blow in the same direction for a long enough period, 'wind-lanes', as shown in the picture, can occur. On Earth, the remnants of these features which have not been eroded away are called 'yardangs'.

Where the surface consists of more resistant material, the force of the wind may not be strong enough to cause this sand-blasting. This might be the reason for the three flat regions (the first in the foreground on the left, and the others top right), which measure about 17 by 9 kilometres.

Image Credit: European Space Agency

Credit: European Space Agency



Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2008