This image shows the rock called "Souffle".
Click on image for full size
Image from: NASA/JPL

Martian Weathering by Wind and Sand

Sand is lifted and carried into the air by winds. The general process by which this occurs is called "saltation". Saltation becomes very powerful during the frequent Martian global dust storms. The rock shown here, called "Souffle", shows many pits and holes formed in the rock by sand erosion.

The ability of particles to erode rock depends upon how many particles are available, their size, and the angle of attack. On Mars, the winds can be faster than on Earth, so the winds can more easily lift and carry sand particles. This makes the erosion of Martian rock a little different than on Earth.


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