Mineral Veins

The bright linear features cutting the bedrock in the center region of this image look like mineral veins .

Mineral veins are sheetlike bodies of minerals formed by water that flows through fractures. The setting of this image is the central uplift of a large (approximately 50-kilometer diameter) impact crater, where deep, ancient bedrock was uplifted about 5 kilometers and fractured. Heat from the impact melted ice in the Martian crust, creating a hydrothermal system. This could have been a habitable environment.

A small mineral vein was recently discovered by the Opportunity rover at Endeavour Crater.

Written by: Alfred McEwen   (21 March 2012)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_025766_2005 .

More info and image formats at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_025700_2005

Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona