HiRISE: Opposing dunes, opposing winds

tumblr_ouqi7t7cKl1rlz4gso1_1280On one side of this image, fairly textbook-looking barchan sand dunes sit atop the bedrock. Barchan dunes pointing in the opposite direction are just a few kilometers away to the east.

In between these opposing barchan dunes are star dunes. Barchan dunes form when the sand-moving wind is fairly unidirectional. Star dunes, in contrast, form when the sand-moving wind comes from multiple directions—not all at once, but from varying directions at different times of day or year. [More at link]

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