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The Spring 2011 issue of The Earth Scientist is focused on modernizing seismology education. Thanks to IRIS, you can download this issue for free as a pdf. Print copies are available in our online store.
This image shows the rock called "Souffle".
Click on image for full size
Image from: NASA/JPL

Martian Surface Winds

On Mars the surface winds accelerate to higher speeds than those on Earth. These winds can be whipped to an extreme during the frequent Martian global dust storms. The first weather measurements made from the surface of Mars were performed by the Mars Pathfinder mission. These measurements provided some real data about the strength of Martian winds.

Sand grains from the surface are picked up by the winds and accelerated to high speeds. This leads to a gouging and chipping effect which contributes toward sand erosion of the surface by wind. The rocks found by the Mars Pathfinder lander provided plenty of evidence for sand erosion by wind. Winds are very important to the erosion of Martian rock, and makes the process a little different than on Earth.


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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF