Scarps in Deuteronilus Mensae

This image shows scarps (steep slopes) in Deuteronilus Mensae, a region of distinctive terrain in the northern hemisphere of Mars.

Polygonal fractures, possibly formed by thermal cycles in ice-rich ground, are visible throughout the scene. The high-standing topography at the top of the scarps have several muted circles. These are remnant impact craters that have degraded throughout time. Their degradation process might have been enhanced by the presence of ground ice.

The two scarps have different morphologies. The right (east-facing) side has a debris apron with a wave-like texture at its base. This is suggestive of material that has moved down the scrap and gradually flowed away from it. Such a process would be expected if the material were ice-rich. There is no counterpart of this feature at the base of the left (west-facing) cliff side.Written by: Kelly Kolb   (5 March 2008)

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Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona