The unbelievably rough and wind-swept surface of Mars’ Greenheugh pediment

Gator-back terrain on Mars
Click for full image.

Since my last update on the travels of the Mars rover Curiosity on February 22, 2022, the rover has been been creeping ever so slowly westward across a plateau that scientists have dubbed the Greenheugh pediment.

Scientists have known for years that the surface of the pediment was going to be rough going. This panorama taken by Curiosity when it first climbed up to the pediment in March 2020 to take a peek before retreating revealed that roughness starkly.

In truth, since beginning its traverse of that pediment in February, the Curiosity team has found the ground not only as rough as expected, but beautiful in a strange sort of way, as illustrated by the March 20, 2022 photo to the right, reduced to post here. As Lauren Edgar, Planetary Geologist at USGS Astrogeology Science Center, noted yesterday in a Curiosity update that featured this image:
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