Slumping Terraces on a Crater Wall

This image shows the western rim of a well-preserved 8.5-kilometer (about 5 miles) diameter impact crater.

The wall features a slumped terrace that extends all the way around the crater diameter (the adjacent image show the rest of the terrace ). This slumped terrace, a result of the crater formation process, gives the crater a concentric ringed appearance.

Terraces are an expected feature in Martian craters of this size or larger, as the material strength of the surface is overcome by the force of all-of-the-sudden-missing mass. Blocks of rock slump down the steep crater walls and slide inward ( by contrast, terraces in smaller craters are often the product of an impact of an object into a surface with layers of differing material strength).

Written by: Nicole Baugh (audio: Tre Gibbs)   (9 April 2014)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_035768_2270 .

More info and image formats at

Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona