Dunes in Abalos Undae
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Dunes in Abalos Undae
PSP_010219_2785  Science Theme: Polar Geology
Greek  Italian 


800  1024  
1152  1280  
1440  1600  
1920  2048  
This enhanced-color close-up shows an example of dunes in Abalos Undae.

The Abalos Undae dune field stretches westward, away from a portion (Abalos Colles) of the ice-rich north polar layered deposits that is separated from the main Planum Boreum dome by two large chasms. These dunes are special because their sands may have been derived from erosion of the Rupes Tenuis unit (the lowest stratigraphic unit in Planum Boreum, beneath the icier layers) during formation of the chasms. Some researchers have argued that these chasms were formed partially by melting of the polar ice.

The enhanced color data illuminate differences in composition. The dunes appear blueish because of their basaltic composition, while the reddish-white areas are probably covered in dust. Upon close inspection, tiny ripples and grooves are visible on the surface of the dunes; these features are formed by wind action, as are the dunes themselves.

It is possible that the dunes are no longer migrating (the process of dune formation forces dunes to move in the direction of the main winds) and that the tiny ripples are the only active parts of the dunes today.

Written by: Kate Fishbaugh   (19 November 2008)

Click to share this post on Twitter Click to share this post on Facebook Click to share this post on Google+ Click to share this post on Tumblr

 Image Products: All image links are drag & drop for HiView, or click to download
B&W: map projected  non-map

IRB color: map projected  non-map

Merged IRB: map projected

Merged RGB: map projected

RGB color: non-map projected

B&W: map-projected (369MB)

IRB color: map-projected (205MB)
B&W: map-projected  (191MB),
non-map  (148MB)

IRB color: map projected  (90MB)
non-map  (155MB)

Merged IRB: map projected  (373MB)

Merged RGB: map-projected  (339MB)

RGB color: non map-projected  (143MB)
B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

About color products (PDF)
HiView main page

 Observation Toolbox
Acquisition date:30 September 2008 Local Mars time:05:12
Latitude (centered):81.586° Longitude (East):279.876°
Range to target site:319.6 km (199.7 miles)Original image scale range:63.9 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~192 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:50 cm/pixelMap projection:Polarstereographic
Emission angle:8.1° Phase angle:80.7°
Solar incidence angle:74°, with the Sun about 16° above the horizon Solar longitude:134.9°, Northern Summer

Context map

Usage Policy
All of the images produced by HiRISE and accessible on this site are within the public domain: there are no restrictions on their usage by anyone in the public, including news or science organizations. We do ask for a credit line where possible: Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: http://www.nasa.gov. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona. The image data were processed using the U.S. Geological Survey’s ISIS3 software.