Sand Waves of Southern Mars
Sand Waves of Southern Mars
ESP_058085_1245  Science Theme: Aeolian Processes
Dune-like sandy landforms (or bedforms) self-organize into distinct shapes and patterns as dictated by wind conditions and other factors. The spacing and frequency of migration for bedforms will partially depend on the particle size range of local sediment. Larger coarse sand tends to “roll” during less frequent wind gusts, as compared with smaller more-mobile grains that “hop.”

This image in the Southern Hemisphere region of Terra Cimmeria displays an unusual class of hybrid bedforms. They display a consistent shape and tone, but range several orders of magnitude in size or spacing. The smallest examples here are less than 10 meters in spacing while larger ones are separated by several hundreds of meters. This is unusual variability for bedforms that evolve over long time scales and consistent climate of recent Mars. A Mars geomorphologist might classify some of these as small dunes or giant ripples, depending on their perspective.

Written by: Matthew Chojnacki  (17 August 2021)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_065799_1245.
Acquisition date
17 December 2018

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
250.8 km (155.9 miles)

Original image scale range
25.1 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~75 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
45°, with the Sun about 45° above the horizon

Solar longitude
307.9°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  45.3°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (709MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (405MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (322MB)
non-map           (459MB)

IRB color
map projected  (134MB)
non-map           (363MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (185MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (176MB)

RGB color
non map           (348MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

10K (TIFF)

B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

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:
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

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. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.