Remnants of a Viscous Flow on Mars

Lobate flows are common in the Martian mid latitude region (30-45 degrees latitude). Some are pristine-looking and highly reminiscent of terrestrial glaciers, whereas others appear more degraded. The flow deposit shown here is a good example of a degraded flow deposit.

The uphill “head” toward the right of the image has carved out an amphitheater-shape into the escarpment, and the “toe”, to the right, is lobate in shape. The surface is highly degraded and eroded, and the deposit shows evidence of deflation (loss of volume, probably from the sublimation of ice), as lateral moraines (ridges running along the length of the feature) are visible.

Written by: Eldar Noe   (3 October 2012)

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Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona