The purpose of this observation is to determine how these formations, called “yardangs” are forming within a layer of bedrock.
Yardangs are streamlined hills that are carved by wind erosion from bedrock. The rock must be sufficiently erodible for wind to either deflate (pick up) poorly-consolidated pieces or scrape the surface by blowing sand. HiRISE resolution allows us to view yardangs and the component layers more closely, and to get a better understanding of the material.
“Yardang” is a word of Turkish origin, meaning “steep bank.“ When viewed from above, yardangs can look like the hull of a boat.
Written by: HiRISE Science Team (audio: Tre Gibbs) (30 April 2014)
More info and image formats at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_035558_1830
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona