Mars Global Surveyor: Dunes in Herschel Crater

Press Release From: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Posted: Thursday, November 1, 2001

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-294, 30 October 2001

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Herschel Crater is a 300 kilometer (186 mi) wide impact basin located in the martian southern cratered highlands at 14.5°S, 230°W. The floor of this ancient crater exhibits patches of dark material that, when viewed by the high resolution Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) aboard the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft, resolve into fields of sand dunes. In detail, these dunes have a grooved, lineated surface. These grooves indicate that the dune sands are cemented together and have been eroded and scoured by wind. The age of the dunes and how their sands became cemented are unknown. Sunlight illuminates this March 2001 scene from the upper left. The box in the upper left corner shows the location of the high resolution view, the 400 m scale bar is ~437 yards.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

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