HiRISE Views Viscous Flow Features on Mars

HiRISE Views a Mass of Viscous Flow Features on Mars

Massive flow features on the surface of Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

This new HiRISE image shows a mass of flow features on the surface of Mars.

Viscous, lobate flow features are commonly found at the bases of slopes in the mid-latitudes of Mars, and are often associated with gullies.

These features are bound by ridges that resemble terrestrial moraines, suggesting that these deposits are ice-rich, or may have been ice-rich in the past. The source of the ice is unclear, but there is some thought that it is deposited from the atmosphere during periods of high obliquity, also known as axial tilt.

The flow features in this image are particularly massive and the bounding scarps appear very high standing and are layered as well. Take a look at the stereo anaglyph for a 3D view.

The map is projected here at a scale of 25 centimeters (9.8 inches) per pixel. [The original image scale is 25.9 centimeters (10.2 inches) per pixel (with 1 x 1 binning); objects on the order of 82 centimeters (32.2 inches) across are resolved.] North is up.

This is a stereo pair with ESP_048979_1330.

2 Comments on "HiRISE Views Viscous Flow Features on Mars"

  1. Is flow the same as snow? To the untrained eye, I see a vent that water vapor probably comes out of, and ice from it freezing. Snow or frost.

    Can someone put this in simple terms? I assume that is new “flow/snow/frost/ice” or whatever we want to call it. Water in a frozen state that recently appeared. Is that correct?

  2. Madanagopal.V.C. | March 13, 2017 at 3:01 am | Reply

    Ice flow on earth on earlier times are responsible for the formation of sedimentary rocks when they were fossillized over a period of time. Similar sedementation process occurs on Mars over the viscous flow of liquid on Martian sand . Every planet will have a feature like this on its surface on account of viscous flow sedementation if we are lucky to find a few. This clearly shows that Water was and is a primitive material on this cosmos everywhere. Thank You.

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