New research has found that wind carved massive mounds of more than a mile high on Mars over billions of years. Their location helps pin down when water on the Red Planet dried up during a global climate change event.
The research was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, on March 31.
The findings show the importance of wind in shaping the Martian landscape, a force that, on Earth, is overpowered by other processes, said lead author Mackenzie Day, a graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences.
"On Mars there are no plate-tectonics, and there's no liquid water, so you don't have anything to overprint that signature and over billions of years you get these mounds, which speaks to how much geomorphic change you can really instigate with just wind," Day said. "Wind could never do this on Earth because water acts so much faster, and tectonics act so much faster."