And that phenomenon might help explain how Mars lost its water.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter observed a high number of "dust towers" - concentrated clouds of dust that warm in sunlight and rise high into the air - during the global Martian dust storm in 2018.
The towers are created when a large area of dust, which can be compared to the width of Rhode Island, lifts up into the air.
As the tower decays, it can form a layer of dust 35 miles (56km) above the surface potentially wider than the continental United States. The blue-white plumes are water vapor clouds.
The recent findings on dust towers come courtesy of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
With time and more data, the team hopes to better understand the dust towers created within global storms and what role they may play in removing water from the Martian atmosphere. Dusty Deep Convection in the Mars Year 34 Planet-Encircling Dust Event. "Normally the dust would fall down in a day or so", said the paper's lead author, Nicholas Heavens of Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia.
Scientists say the kinds of planet-wide storms that produce these giant dust towers happen every ten years or so on Mars.
'Global dust storms are really unusual, ' David Kass from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is able to monitor these dust storms, which is how the space agency knows that something unusual happened during last year's global storm.
'It is easily visible to the eye as a bright red object in the sky, but seeing any detail requires a reasonable telescope and binoculars won't show much.
Dust towers can appear throughout the year on Mars, not only during global dust storms. Dust storms are common on the Martian surface but sometimes the whole planet is enveloped in dusty storm systems dubbed as Global Dust Storm.
In fact, some of the towers lasted for as long as three and a half weeks before eventually crashing back down to Mars. It's similar to how a thunderhead or cumulonimbus cloud forms during a powerful storm on Earth.
This process may provide a key clue as to how the Red Planet was stripped of its vast lakes and rivers over billions of years. So far, scientists have studied less than 12 of them, and they're far from certain what causes them.
They previously showed that during the 2007 global dust storm, water molecules were lofted into the upper Martian atmosphere, where solar radiation could break them down into particles that escape into space. Their efforts will make us of the MRO and its climate sounder, NASA's MAVEN orbiter, and the older NASA Odyssey Orbiter.
Within the storms, a phenomenon known as dust towers has been observed. MCS can measure the temperature, humidity, and dust content in Mars' atmosphere.
'This is why early Martian observers spent a lot of time making many sketches to try to map the planet's surface.
Over time, the MRO and its Climate Sounder will gather more data on the Martian climate in general, and on global dust storms and their towers specifically.