Abstract by Dylan McDougall
Eric H. Christiansen
A Window to Mars In Yardangs Big and Small
Yardangs are enigmatic bedrock features eroded by wind with streamlined, repeating shapes and sizes ranging from meters to tens of kilometers. They are found on rocky planets with atmospheres, including Earth and Mars, but there is a poorly understood relationship between the rocks and the winds that form the yardangs. Ash fall deposits in the Puna region of Argentina bear yardangs in a Mars analog environment, making those yardangs and their materials ideal for comparison with Martian yardangs. By measuring the material properties of the rock (namely, hardness) and relating those to the yardangs' spatial and morphological characteristics as well as wind patterns, we aim to constrain the material properties of rock in yardang-bearing regions of Mars. These results contribute to our understanding of ancient Mars through its rock record and Mars' recent climate as seen through winds.