Martian Landform Observations Fill Special Journal IssueJanuary 11th, 2010 in Astronomy & Space / Space Exploration
This view shows color variations in bright layered deposits on a plateau near Juventae Chasma in the Valles Marineris region of Mars. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
(PhysOrg.com) -- Martian landforms shaped by winds, water, lava flow, seasonal icing and other forces are analyzed in 21 journal reports based on data from a camera orbiting Mars.
The research in a January special issue of Icarus testifies to the diversity of the planet being examined by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Examples of the findings include:
-- Valleys associated with light-toned layered deposits in several locations along the plateaus adjacent to the largest canyon system on Mars suggest low-temperature alteration of volcanic rocks by acidic water both before and after formation of the canyons.
-- The youngest flood-lava flow on Mars, found in the Elysium Planitia region and covering an area the size of Oregon, is the product of a single eruption and was put in place turbulently over a span of several weeks at most.
-- New details are observed in how seasonal vanishing of carbon-dioxide ice sheets in far-southern latitudes imprints the ground with fan-shaped and spider-shaped patterns via venting of carbon-dioxide gas from the undersurface of the ice.
Provided by JPL/NASA
"Martian Landform Observations Fill Special Journal Issue." January 11th, 2010. http://phys.org/news/2010-01-martian-landform-special-journal-issue.html