HiRISE: Hanging sand dunes in Coprates Chasma

ESP_034856_1655Dune fields located among canyon wall slopes are also known as “wall dune fields” and are further identified as either climbing or falling. Falling dunes are defined as large bedforms with lee faces on the downhill side—indicating that this is the direction of their migration—and on moderate slopes greater than 10 to 12 degrees. (A lee face is the the down-wind side of a dune.)

On Earth and Mars, these types of dunes are largely controlled by what is called “microtopography.” Physical obstacles can accelerate and decelerate airflow, create turbulence, potentially enhancing erosion, deposition, and/or transport of dune sediment… [More at link]

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