Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wavy-Looking Layers in the North Polar Layered Deposits

These layers near the North Pole of Mars probably record global climate changes, similar to ice ages on Earth.

They appear wavy here either because flat-lying layers have been eroded into shallow valleys and ridges, or because the layers are not horizontal. Some of these layers are truncated, or appear to pinch out against other layers, evidence of a period of erosion followed by continued deposition of new layers.

The orientations of both the wavy-looking layers and the "unconformity" or erosional surface will be determined once this image and its stereo pair have been used to measure the surface topography.

This is a stereo pair with ESP_026662_2625.

Photo credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Note: This image is located in the Gemini Scopuli region of Planum Boreum; the closest named feature to this location is Udzha Crater, to the southeast.

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