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The Geology of
Mars
Flight into Valles
Marineris
Geological
Processes
Chaotic Terrain
Forms when subsurface
water or ice causes a loss
of support and the ground
collapses.
Graben
A depressed block of land
bordered by parallel
faults (graben is German
for ditch).
Sapping
Sapping valleys are
formed breaks the
surface and undermines
rock and sediment,
causing it to collapse.
Slumping
The grounds collapses and
sinks or falls suddenly and
heavily.
Subsidence
The sinking of ground
surface due to the physical
removal of ground surface.
Landslides
Material that has fallen
down a steep slope and
material piles up at the
bottom.
Layers
Formed by stacks of lava
flows, ash from volcanoes,
dust, or by sediments
deposited in water.
Fractures/Faults
Result from breaks in the
surface. They are generally
straight.
Fracture
Fault
Gullies
Often found on crater walls
or other slopes. May be
associated with past liquid
water or areas once covered
with snow.
Fissures
Cracks that are found
sometimes on the sides of
volcanoes. Lava flows may be
seen moving away from the
fissure, indicating lava flow.
Lava Flows
Formed by flowing lava.
Flows can look “wavy” or
“fingery.” Flows are raised
features.
Collapsed Lava Tube
Look similar to channels.
Lava once flowed
underground through a
tunnel. Some aren’t
completely collapsed and look
like a small chain of craters.
Channels
Formed by consistent flow of
water over a long period of
time. Has a curvy or
meandering shape.
Streamlined Islands
Thought to be associated
with the plast flow of water
around a feature. Often
found in outflow channels
wher large amounts of water
flowed.
Sand Dunes
Often seen in the bottom of
craters or channels. Look
like ripples of material.
Yardangs
Formed by sand-sized
particles being blown against
a surface, wearing it away.
Regions of
Mars
Tharsis
Volcanic Plateau on
Mars.
There are three
enormous shield
volcanoes Arsia Mons, Pavonis
Mons, and Ascraeus Mons,
which are known as the Tharsis
Montes.
Volcanic Plateau on
Mars.
Arsia Mons
Parvonus
Mons
Volcanic Plateau on
Mars.
Ascraeus Mons
Volcanic Plateau on
Mars.
Olympus Mons is nearby.
There are other small
volcanoes.
Lava flows are common in
the Tharsis region.
Marineris
Valles Marineris (the
Grand Canyon of Mars
is found in this area.
On Earth, it would
stretch from San
Francisco, CA to New
York, NY.
There are many
regions in Valles
Marineris.
There are plateaus in
the south, craters in
the north and south,
additional valleys in
the north
Meridani
A heavily cratered
region.
Opportunity found
evidence for water in
this region.
The Aureum &
Arsinoes Choases
(chaotic terrain)
are found in
Meridani.
Syrtis Major
This is a plateau &
volcanic region.
You can see examples
of wind blow terrain.
This is a highly
cratered region.
Valleys and layering
geology are found here.
Hesperia
The southern part of
the region is on a
plateau.
It is a highly cratered
region in the south.
Elysium Planitia
is a major
volcanic region.
Elysium Mons volcano found
here.
South and west from Elysium
Mons you find Elysium
Chasma.
Continue south and west and
you find the Hyblaeus Dorsa
lava flows.
Memnonia
The southern part of
the region has many
craters.
The craters in this
region show evidence
of erosion.
Tartarus
Montes
In the northeastern
corner there are two
plains – Arcadia Planitia
and Amazonus Planitia.
An on-line
atlas of Mars.
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