Alfred McEwen wrote:Dark Materials on Olympus Mons (ESP_012548_1980) (HiClip)
There are blocks of layered terrain within the Olympus Mons aureole. The aureole is a giant apron of chaotic material around the volcano, perhaps formed by enormous landslides off the flanks of the giant volcano.
These blocks of layered material have been eroded by the wind into the scenic landscape we see here.
This is a stereo pair with ESP_013049_1980.
Alfred McEwen wrote:Clays of Ladon Basin (ESP_013045_1615) (HiClip)
Ladon Basin was a large impact structure that was filled in by the deposits from Ladon Valles, a major ancient river on Mars.
These wet sediments were altered into minerals such as various clay minerals. Clays imply chemistry that may have been favorable for life on ancient Mars, if anything lived there, so this could be a good spot for future exploration by rovers and perhaps return of samples to Earth.
Nicole Baugh wrote:Eroded Layers in Shalbatana Valles (ESP_012729_1830) (HiClip)
Layers, probably sedimentary in origin, have undergone extensive erosion in this image of Shalbatana Valles, a prominent channel that cuts through Xanthe Terra.
This erosion has produced several small mesas and exposed light-toned material that may differ in composition from the surrounding material.
Mike Mellon wrote:Hexagons in Icy Terrain (PSP_008883_2245) (HiClip)
Ground cemented by ice cover the high latitudes of Mars, much as they do on Earth’s cold climates. A common landform that occurs in icy terrain are polygons.
Polygonal patterns form by winter cooling and contraction cracking of the frozen ground. Over time these thin cracks develop and coalesce into a honeycomb network, with a few meters spacing between neighboring cracks. Shallow troughs mark the locations of the underground cracks, which are clearly visible from orbit.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
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