Yardangs on Mars

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Yardangs are common in some regions on Mars, especially in what's called the "Medusae Fossae Formation." This formation is found in the Amazonis quadrangle and near the equator.[1] They are formed by the action of wind on sand sized particles; hence they often point in the direction that the winds were blowing when they were formed.[2] Because they exhibit very few impact craters they are believed to be relatively young.[3] The easily eroded nature of the Medusae Fossae Formation suggests that it is composed of weakly cemented particles, and was most likely formed by the deposition of wind-blown dust or volcanic ash. Yardangs are parts of rock that have been sand blasted into long, skinny ridges by bouncing sand particles blowing in the wind.[4][5] Layers are seen in parts of the formation. A resistant caprock on the top of yardangs has been observed in Viking,[6] Mars Global Surveyor,[7] and HiRISE photos.[8] Images from spacecraft show that they have different degrees of hardness probably because of significant variations in the physical properties, composition, particle size, and/or cementation.

See also

References

  1. SAO/NASA ADS Astronomy Abstract Service: Yardangs on Mars
  2. http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Mars_Express/Yardangs_on_Mars
  3. http://themis.asu.edu/zoom-20020416a
  4. http://www.uahirise.org/ESP_039563_1730
  5. http://www.uahirise.org/ESP_039563_1730
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