Hexagons in Icy Terrain

Ground cemented by ice cover the high latitudes of Mars, much as they do on Earth’s cold climates. A common landform that occurs in icy terrain are polygons.

Polygonal patterns form by winter cooling and contraction cracking of the frozen ground. Over time these thin cracks develop and coalesce into a honeycomb network, with a few meters spacing between neighboring cracks. Shallow troughs mark the locations of the underground cracks, which are clearly visible form orbit .

Written by: Mike Mellon (audio by Tre Gibbs)  (22 January 2018)

More info and image formats at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/PSP_008883_2245

Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona