Monday, October 17, 2011

Sinuous Ridge in Malea Planum

This area of Malea Planum is covered by bright dust and dark lines. These lines formed by swirling winds known as dust devils that move across the surface removing the dust cover and revealing the darker rock materials beneath.

In the lower half of this image there is a faint sinuous, broad bouldery unit. Although largely dust covered, this sinuous unit may mark the location of a stream that once flowed across the plains. The stream may have later been filled by a lava flow or other bouldery material that was more resistant to erosion than the surrounding terrains forming what is known as an inverted stream. Since this time dust has largely filled in this terrain.

Photo credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

No comments: