Special Reports

Wind-Related Processes Detected by the Spirit Rover at Gusev Crater, Mars

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Science  06 Aug 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5685, pp. 810-813
DOI: 10.1126/science.1100108

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Wind-abraded rocks, ripples, drifts, and other deposits of windblown sediments are seen at the Columbia Memorial Station where the Spirit rover landed. Orientations of these features suggest formative winds from the north-northwest, consistent with predictions from atmospheric models of afternoon winds in Gusev Crater. Cuttings from the rover Rock Abrasion Tool are asymmetrically distributed toward the south-southeast, suggesting active winds from the north-northwest at the time (midday) of the abrasion operations. Characteristics of some rocks, such as a two-toned appearance, suggest that they were possibly buried and exhumed on the order of 5 to 60 centimeters by wind deflation, depending on location.

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