Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tempe Terra

Tempe Terra is criss-crossed with numerous fracture systems. This VIS image shows a region where the fractures are intersecting.

Photo credit: NASA/JPL/Arizona State University

Note: I find this an interesting photo. Normally, when I read about "fractures," I think of tectonic faults; however, I don't think that this is the case in this photo. What I think happened is that there was a series of graben going laterally (left-right) in the mid-uplands of this photo. Later, a catastrophic release of flood waters from the impact crater in the upper right corner of the photo (plus some other, unseen sources of water) carved a series of channels that flowed downslope, from top to bottom, to the lowlands below. These graben and stream channels formed the criss-cross pattern we see here.

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