This image shows deposits in a crater located in Arabia Terra. Arabia is generally dust covered and dark streaks or dust avalanches are present in the crater walls. The dominant geologic process acting in this crater interior is wind erosion. The central crater deposits are eroded to form yardangs, or linear wind-sculpted hills that resemble an inverted boat hull. Deflation and abrasion are capable of eroding rock structures that are aligned parallel to wind direction. In the lower right hand side of the crater, a dark deposit has formed barchan dunes. These crescent shaped dunes have "horns" that point downwind indicating general northwest to southeast wind direction. These dark sands probably played a role in the erosion and formation of the yardangs.
Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.