Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dark-Toned Unit Exposed atop Crater Ejecta in Meridiani Planum

This image shows the contact between two geologic units: a cratered plains unit and an etched terrain unit.

The cratered plains are relatively smooth and dark, while the brighter etched terrain consists of smooth plains and dune fields.

The etched terrain occupies the lowest portions of an approximately 120 kilometer NW-SE trending valley with a wide variety of landforms suggestive of wind erosion. Both units partially cover the ejecta from an approximately 20 kilometer crater directly to the northeast of the image.

Photo credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Notes: For a similar photograph and caption, see Northern Meridiani Etched Terrain and Hematite Plains Contact. This location is in Meridiani Planum, extremely close to the point where the Martian equator and prime meridian intersect.

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