The Groovy Dunes of Herschel
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The Groovy Dunes of Herschel

March 19, 2003
Except for small wind ripples on their surfaces, normal, active sand dunes have very smooth slopes. However, some dunesfound in the Herschel Basin of Terra Cimmeria (around 15°S, 228°W) have very rough, grooved surfaces instead. These grooves indicate that the dune surfaces for some reason are cemented---i.e., the sand is not loose---and that wind has actually had to scour the sand to remove it and transport it away from these dunes. What has caused these dunes to become cemented is unknown, and dunes like this are extremely rare on Mars (they have only been seen in Herschel Basin, thus far). This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image was acquired on May 5, 1999.

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