Continual Dune and Ripple Migration in Nili Patera
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Continual Dune and Ripple Migration in Nili Patera
ESP_028575_1890  Science Theme: Aeolian Processes
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Nili Patera is a region on Mars in which dunes and ripples are moving rapidly. HiRISE continues to monitor this area every couple of months to see changes over seasonal and annual time scales.

Here we see obvious activity over a span of less than two Earth years. Three prominent changes are obvious: 1) the dunes are migrating, with position differences of a few meters in some areas; 2) the ripples on the surfaces of the dunes have undergone so much change that they cannot be reliably tracked over this time interval; and 3) the lee faces of the dunes exhibit new avalanches.

These results show that Nili Patera, and other regions on Mars, are areas of active sand migration and landscape erosion.

Written by: Nathan Bridges (audio: Tre Gibbs)   (1 October 2014)

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Acquisition date:31 August 2012 Local Mars time:15:35
Latitude (centered):8.722° Longitude (East):67.345°
Range to target site:275.5 km (172.2 miles)Original image scale range:27.6 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~83 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:25 cm/pixel and North is upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:8.7° Phase angle:44.9°
Solar incidence angle:53°, with the Sun about 37° above the horizon Solar longitude:163.7°, Northern Summer

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For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: http://www.nasa.gov. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona. The image data were processed using the U.S. Geological Survey’s ISIS3 software.