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Honing in on Martian sand sources

BRIGHT member Ariana Boyd is currently researching the source(s) of sand in the Aeolis Dorsa region of Mars. During her mapping of sand in this region she noticed a number of localities that appeared to be eroding dark material that is likely sand. She requested a high-resolution image of one of these localities via the HiWish feature on the HiRISE website ( An image of this area with a 23 cm/px resolution was returned that strongly supports this hypothesis (see image).

This image shows talus slopes– trails of falling sediments– that originate at eroding layers of dark bedrock. This locally-derived sediment is one of few localities on Mars where an apparent source of at least some sand has been identified.

HiRISE image ESP_051780_1725 (click here)