Wind at Work
Wind is one of the most active forces shaping Mars’ surface in today’s climate. Wind-carved features such as these, called “yardangs,” are common on the Red Planet. Wind has also deposited fine sand on the floor of shallow channels between the yardangs.
On the sand, the wind forms ripples and small dunes. In Mars’ thin atmosphere, light is not scattered much, so the shadows cast by the yardangs are sharp and dark.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona