Saturday, June 2, 2012

Streamlined Hills in Elysium Planitia

This observation was taken to investigate the topography of hills that were eroded by floods of water or lava. In many locations near here it is clear that the last fluid to flow through the region was lava.

Clear margins of lava flows are visible as well as lava textures on the channel floor. In this location, the cover of wind-blown sand and the effect of many small impact craters has erased such obvious indicators of lava. This is likely because the lava coating is thin and can be easily erased.

However, it is also possible that no lava passed through this location. Further investigation of these data should help us better understand the role of water and lava in changing the Martian landscape.

This is a stereo pair with ESP_025802_1960.

Photo credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Note: This hill is located in Phlegra Dorsa in the immediate vicinity of Grjotá Valles.

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