Yardangs in Arabia Terra
Yardangs in Arabia Terra
ESP_061610_1895  Science Theme: Sedimentary/Layering Processes
This image of a crater floor in Arabia Terra tells the tale of a long and varied geological history. The layered bedrock in the south of the image records events that occurred eons ago, probably soon after the crater formed.

The tear drop shaped features in the middle of the image resulted from a later episode of erosion by the wind. Persistent winds that alternated seasonally and diurnally from the southwest and from the northeast produced these “yardangs” with aerodynamic shapes that resemble inverted boat hulls. The dark pits to the north of the image were likely formed by recent impacts. The bowl shaped craters, small quantities of modern wind-blown sedimentary infill, and bright ejecta deposits all suggest that these impacts occurred quite recently, possibly at the same time.

Written by: Paul Geissler  (6 December 2019)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_061887_1895.
Acquisition date
18 September 2019

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
274.8 km (170.8 miles)

Original image scale range
58.3 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~175 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
46°, with the Sun about 44° above the horizon

Solar longitude
81.3°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  34.0°
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
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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.