Science and Exploration

Dome And Barchan Dunes In Newton Crater On Mars

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
July 24, 2022
Filed under ,
Dome And Barchan Dunes In Newton Crater On Mars
Dome And Barchan Dunes

This observation shows a small sand dune field on the floor of Newton Crater, an approximately 300-kilometer wide crater in the Southern Hemisphere of Mars.

The image shows both dome and barchan dunes. Both these types of dunes are also found on Earth. Barchan dunes in particular are common on Earth, and are generally crescent-shaped with a steep slip face bordered by horns oriented in the downwind direction. Barchan dunes form by unidirectional winds and are good indicators of the dominant wind direction.

In this case, the horns of the barchan dunes are not very distinct but appear to indicate that the strongest winds blew approximately southeast to northwest. Note the pattern the dunes form around a bright streak in the downwind direction behind a crater in the center of the image.

ID: ESP_038117_1385
date: 13 September 2014
altitude: 253 km

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.