This observation covers an outcrop of possible cyclic bedding within a crater in Arabia Terra.
“Cyclic bedding” refers to a pattern of layering caused by repeated fluctuations in the amount of available sediment that creates new rock layers . These fluctuations are caused by long-term changes in the region’s climate, with periods on the order of millions, or possibly hundreds of millions of years. It’s possible that even the wobble of the planet might be a contributing factor to cyclic bedding.
An image at HiRISE resolution can help evaluate the cyclicity of the beds, as well as test possible regional stratigraphic correlations, and perhaps, indications of a wetter past environment.
Written by: HIRISE Science Team (audio by Tre Gibbs) (8 August 2013)
This is a stereo pair with ESP_019347_1890 .
More info and image formats at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_018714_1890
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona