Kaiser Crater Dune Field
Kaiser Crater Dune Field
PSP_003141_1330  Science Theme: Aeolian Processes
This observation shows a sand dune field in Kaiser Crater, a 210 kilometer (130 mile) wide impact basin in the Hellespontus region of Mars.

Winds have trapped massive quantities of sand on the floors of broad craters in this region. The steepest slopes on each dune, the slip faces, point to the East indicating that the dominant wind direction in this part of the dune field is from West to East. Patches of seasonal frost can be seen in the low areas between the dunes.

The subimage reveals smaller secondary dunes superimposed on the surface of the large dunes and even smaller ripples that appear between and perpendicular to the secondary dunes. Avalanching or mass movement of sand has left deep scars on the slip face of the large dune in the upper left portion of the subimage. This may indicate that the sand is not loose but is weakly cemented.

Written by: Maria Banks  (25 April 2007)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_003629_1330.
Acquisition date
29 March 2007

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
252.1 km (156.7 miles)

Original image scale range
26.4 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~79 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
58°, with the Sun about 32° above the horizon

Solar longitude
209.0°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  95°
Sub-solar azimuth:  23.3°
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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.