Geophysical Research Letters

Windy Mars: A dynamic planet as seen by the HiRISE camera



[1] With a dynamic atmosphere and a large supply of particulate material, the surface of Mars is heavily influenced by wind-driven, or aeolian, processes. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provides a new view of Martian geology, with the ability to see decimeter-size features. Current sand movement, and evidence for recent bedform development, is observed. Dunes and ripples generally exhibit complex surfaces down to the limits of resolution. Yardangs have diverse textures, with some being massive at HiRISE scale, others having horizontal and cross-cutting layers of variable character, and some exhibiting blocky and polygonal morphologies. “Reticulate” (fine polygonal texture) bedforms are ubiquitous in the thick mantle at the highest elevations.