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This is a picture of sand dunes seen by Mars Pathfinder.
Click on image for full size
Image from: NASA/JPL

Martian Duneforms

There are many portions of surface near the Mars Pathfinder landing site covered by equal-sloped, dune-like ridges, as shown in this picture, which are oriented transverse to the wind direction. These dunes consist of particles placed in motion by the mechanism of saltation.

During the Rover's exploration of the Martian surface, it traversed what scientists now call the "Mermaid Dune", covered with soils.

Analysis of the soils at Mermaid Dune, as well as study of other winddrifts seen near the landing site contributed to the overall understanding of the weathering processes near the landing site.


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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