Annotated image of PIA04193
NASA's Spirit rover took this mosaic of the undisturbed soil deposit "Whymper" on martian day, or sol 588 (August 29, 2005), using its microscopic imager. A well-defined impression about 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) wide was created when the rover's Moessbauer spectrometer faceplate was gently pushed into the soil. Note that the surface of the soil has been modified into wind streaks.
The ability of the soil to make fine molds of the faceplate suggests the material is a mix of sand and dust. The dust is pushed into the pores of the sand and keeps the material from collapsing. This allows for very detailed impressions of the faceplate.