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Explore Dust Deposit, Scale Boulders, and more!

A piece of Mars: In the center of this image is a 270 m crater (885 ft) that was nearly buried, along with the surrounding terrain, by dust. Since then, wind from the upper left has scoured the dust deposit, forming streamlined horse-tail shapes. A few meter-scale boulders, possibly flung in from nearby impacts, show the most recent streamlined erosion. (ESP_035994_1805, NASA/JPL/Univ. of Arizona)

A piece of Mars: This is what the relentless work of the wind can do. That vaguely circular structure in the center of the image is the remains of an impact crater that was later partially buried in dust. That dust was probably scoured from elsewhere on the planet during many successive dust storms, and slowly accumulated on the surface here. That dust lithified and is now once again being eroded away by, you guessed it, the wind. (PSP_010345_1635, NASA/JPL/Univ. of Arizona)

A piece of Mars: Topography in color is draped over an image of a windblown cliff. The entire shape of the landscape here was formed by wind, from the large 400 m (1312 ft) tall zigzag cliff, to the small streamlined shapes in the valley. Even the deep gorge that looks like a stream channel was formed by winds, all blowing toward the upper left. (HiRISE PSP_006694_1895 NASA/JPL/Univ. of Arizona, HRSC ESA/DLR/FU Berlin)

A piece of Mars: This is what eons of wind scour will do to soft rocks. Constant bombardment from sand blowing from the lower left to upper right leave streamlined grooves within grooves. Note the small crater in the lower left corner, one of only a few in the scene. The wind erodes the surface faster than most craters can accumulate. (HiRISE ESP_015977_1800)

A piece of Mars: Only Mars has fields of impact craters mantled by dust ripples and darker wind streaks. You just don't get this anywhere else. (HiRISE ESP_019774_1645)

A piece of Mars: This is a bit of the flank of Arsia Mons, one of Mars' great volcanoes. The topography was made by erosion from lava and great tectonic pulling. What I like is that the scene (1.58x1.18 km, or 0.98x0.74 mi) is covered in bright dust (looks a bit like snow here, doesn't it?). And that dust has been eroded by wind channeled through the topography. So here we see signs of flow, both from ancient lava and from more recent wind. (HiRISE ESP_031944_1790, NASA/JPL/Univ. of Arizona)

A piece of Mars: Right at the edge of the largest volcano on Mars (Olympus Mons) is a steep cliff. Here, near that edge, are some car-sized boulders poking out from a thick blanket of dust. Strong winds blow down the mountainside (lower right to upper left), leaving behind streamlined hills and grooves. Much of the surface of the volcano looks like this, although the boulders are relatively rare. (ESP_033303_1980, NASA/JPL/Univ. of Arizona)

A piece of Mars: The surface in this 960x540 m (0.6x0.34 mi) scene has a distinct fabric to it that runs from the upper left to lower right. Are these old lithified dunes? And what makes the tiny filamentary lines that run from upper right to lower left, are those ripples? I'm not convinced either way, but I suspect the wind has had a hand in shaping them, one way or another. (HiRISE ESP_040297_1605, NASA/JPL/Univ. of Arizona)