THEMIS Image of the Day, February 14, 2019. Today’s VIS image shows a dune field on a crater floor in Terra Cimmeria. Dunes at high latitudes – near the polar caps – are affected by seasonal frost and ice.
The interactions with frost/ice reduces the amount of movement of sand grains within the dunes. This changes the morphology of near polar dunes when compared to dunes at lower latitudes where ice/frost do not occur as frequently.
A close look at the image reveals many curving dust devil tracks in the terrain next to the dune field. The dust devils were probably driven by an atmospheric temperature contrast between the dark dunes and light-toned landscape. This crater’s latitude is 68 degrees south of the equator.