Yardangs in Arsinoes Chaos
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Yardangs in Arsinoes Chaos
ESP_039563_1730  Science Theme: Geologic Contacts/Stratigraphy
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Several terrain types converge in this scene from Arsinoes Chaos, in the far eastern portions of Valles Marineris. The jumbled chaos terrain is likely related to the massive water-carved outflow channels that started in this area and flowed north across Mars’ hemispheric dichotomy and onto the Northern plains.

The slightly curving, sublinear bright terrain is composed of yardangs. Yardangs are portions of rock that have been sand blasted into long, skinny ridges by saltating (or bouncing) sand particles blowing in the wind.

Zooming in, you can see transverse sand ridges between the yardangs. These sand ridges are termed “transverse aeolian ridges” (TARs) and are currently not moving in Mars’ current climate. TARs are a mystery—they are mid-way in height between dunes (formed from saltating sand) and ripples (formed by “reptated” or “splashed” sand grains).

Written by: Kirby Runyon (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (4 February 2015)
 
Acquisition date
04 January 2015

Local Mars time:
15:02

Latitude (centered)
-7.023°

Longitude (East)
332.182°

Spacecraft altitude
267.5 km (167.2 miles)

Original image scale range
26.8 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~80 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle:
3.7°

Phase angle:
43.7°

Solar incidence angle
47°, with the Sun about 43° above the horizon

Solar longitude
265.6°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  338.0°
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POSTSCRIPT
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. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.