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 up

Map 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

North azimuth:
97°

Sub-solar azimuth:
7.3°
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Postscript
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.