The High Resolution Stereo Camera on board ESA’s Mars Express imaged mountains in the Eumenides Dorsum region on the Red Planet.
Eumenides Dorsum is located in to the west of the Tharsis Region, and forms part of the Medusae-Fossae Region, at approximately 2° south and 206° east. The images, taken on 26 December 2007, have a ground resolution of about 13 m/pixel and cover an area of about 12000 square km.
The region exhibits several kilometre-long linear structures interspersed with channels. The entire area bears evidence of the erosional force of wind, and possibly water, on Mars.
Although the martian atmosphere is rather thin compared to the Earth’s atmosphere – just 0.75% of mean surface pressure on Earth, corresponding to an altitude of about 35 km above Earth’s surface – it can be very dynamic and plays a major role in shaping the red planet’s landscape over a long period of time.
The region is dominated by features carved in sedimentary rocks created by the erosional action of the wind. The wind transports lose material, such as sand, and erodes the soft sedimentary rocks along existing structures like gaps, fault lines or incisions, removing the material.
Smaller mounds in the image center have been eroded and look pyramid-shaped. In the imaged area, most of these features are oriented from north to south. Such preferential orientation develops in areas where the wind direction remains the same.
Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum).