Difference between revisions of "Mare Acidalium quadrangle"

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The [[The Face on Mars|face on Mars]] is found in the lower right corner or the Mare Acidalium quadrangle, between the craters Aranda and Bamberg in the [[Cydonia]] Labyrinthus region.
 
The [[The Face on Mars|face on Mars]] is found in the lower right corner or the Mare Acidalium quadrangle, between the craters Aranda and Bamberg in the [[Cydonia]] Labyrinthus region.
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The Mare Acidalium quadrangle contains many interesting features, but is most famous for an eroded mesa that looked like a face when originally seen in Viking images in the 70’s.  Outstanding views of polygonal ground, mud volcanoes, gullies, and channels are here.  In this article, some of the best pictures from a number of spacecraft will show what the landscape looks like in this region. The origins and significance of all features will be explained as they are currently understood.
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The Mare Acidalium quadrangle is one of a series of 30 quadrangle maps of Mars used by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The quadrangle is located in the northern hemisphere and covers 30° to 65° north latitude and 0° to 60° west longitude (300° to 360° east longitude). The Mare Acidalium quadrangle is also referred to as MC-4 (Mars Chart-4).<ref>Davies, M.E.; Batson, R.M.; Wu, S.S.C. "Geodesy and Cartography" in Kieffer, H.H.; Jakosky, B.M.; Snyder, C.W.; Matthews, M.S., Eds. ''Mars.'' University of Arizona Press: Tucson, 1992.</ref>
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The southern and northern borders of the quadrangle are approximately 3,065 km and 1,500 km wide, respectively. The north to south distance is about 2,050 km (slightly less than the length of Greenland).<ref>Distances calculated using NASA World Wind measuring tool. http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/.</ref> The quadrangle covers a little over 3% of Mars’ surface.
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Many regions with classical names are located here.  Most of the region called Acidalia Planitia is found in Acidalium quadrangle.  Parts of Tempe Terra, Arabia Terra, and Chryse Planitia are also in this quadrangle.  This area contains many bright spots on a dark background that may be mud volcanoes.  Lomonosov Crater and Kunowsky Crater are easily seen. The famous "face" on Mars is located in the [[Cydonia]] Mensae area--the southeastern part of quadrangle.
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In this article, some of the best pictures from a number of spacecraft will show what the landscape looks like in this region. The origins and significance of all features will be explained as they are currently understood.
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The quadrangle contains many interesting features, including gullies and possible shorelines of an ancient northern ocean.  Some areas are densely layered.  The boundary between the southern highlands and the northern lowlands lies in Mare Acidalium.<ref>http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/PSP_010354_2165</ref>  The Cydonia Region includes the Face on Mars (located near 40.8 degrees north and 9.6 degrees west).  When Mars Global Surveyor examined it with high resolution, the face turned out to just be an eroded mesa.<ref>http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mgs/msss/camera/images/moc_5_24_01/face/index.html</ref>  Mare Acidalium contains the Kasei Valles system of canyons.  This huge system is 300 miles wide in some places—Earth's Grand Canyon is only 18 miles wide.<ref>http://hiroc.lpl.arizona.edu/images/PSP/diafotizo.php?ID=PSP_001640_2125</ref>
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==Origin of name==
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Mare Acidalium (Acidalian Sea) is the name of a classical albedo features on Mars located at 45° N and 330° E on Mars. The feature was named for a well or fountain in Boeotia, Greece. According to classical tradition, it is a location where Venus and the Graces bathed.<ref>Blunck, J.  1982.  Mars and its Satellites.  Exposition Press.  Smithtown, N.Y.</ref>  The name was approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in 1958.<ref>USGS Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. Mars. http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/.</ref>
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== Gullies ==
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[[File:Acidalia Colles Gullies.JPG|600pxr|Acidalia Colles Gullies and other features, as seen by HiRISE  The scale bar is 1,000 meters long.]]
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Acidalia Colles Gullies and other features, as seen by HiRISE  The scale bar is 1,000 meters long.
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The HiRISE image above of Acidalia Colles shows gullies in the northern hemisphere.  Gullies occur on steep slopes, especially craters.  Gullies are believed to be relatively young because they have few, if any craters, and they lie on top of sand dunes which are themselves young.  Usually, each gully has an alcove, channel, and apron.  Many researchers believed that the processes carving the gullies involved liquid water. However, with more observations and research this idea was changed. 
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As soon as gullies were discovered, researchers began to image many gullies over and over, looking for possible changes.  By 2006, some changes were found.<ref>Malin, M., K. Edgett, L. Posiolova, S. McColley, E. Dobrea.  2006.  Present-day impact cratering rate and contemporary gully activity on Mars.  Science 314, 1573_1577.</ref>  Later, with further analysis it was determined that the changes could have occurred with dry granular flows rather than being driven by flowing water.<ref>Kolb, et al.  2010.  Investigating gully flow emplacement mechanisms using apex slopes.  Icarus 2008, 132-142.</ref> <ref>McEwen, A. et al.  2007.  A closer look at water-related geological activity on Mars.  Science 317, 1706-1708.</ref> <ref>Pelletier, J., et al.  2008.  Recent bright gully deposits on Mars wet or dry flow?  Geology 36,  211-214.</ref> With continued observations many more changes were found  in Gasa Crater and other craters.<ref>NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA orbiter finds new gully channel on Mars." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 March 2014. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140322094409.htm</ref> 
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With more repeated observations, more and more changes were found; since the changes occur in the winter and spring, experts are tending to believe that gullies were formed from dry ice. Before-and-after images demonstrated the timing of this activity coincided with seasonal carbon-dioxide frost changes, and at temperatures that would not have allowed for liquid water.  The conditions during gully formation are just about right to allow chunks of dry ice to slide down slopes.  In addition, when dry ice frost changes to a gas, it may lubricate dry material to flow especially on steep slopes.<ref>http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2014-226</ref> <ref>http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_032078_1420</ref><ref>http://www.space.com/26534-mars-gullies-dry-ice.html</ref>  In some years frost build up may be-as thick as 1 meter.
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<gallery class="center"  widths="380px" heights="360px">
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Image:24951bambergwidectx.jpg|Context for next image of Bamberg crater.  Box shows where the next image came from. This is a CTX image from [[Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter]].
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Image:ESP 024951gulliesandflow.jpg|Gullies and massive flow of material, as seen by HiRISE under [[HiWish program]].  Gullies are enlarged in next two images. 
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Image:24951gulliesclose.jpg|Close up view of some gullies
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Image:24951gullyclose.jpg|Close up view of another gully in same HiRISE picture.  Picture taken under HiWish program.
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Image:27707gulliesclose.jpg|Close-up of gullies in a crater Image taken by HiRISE under HiWish program.
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ESP 037506 2285gullychannels.jpg|Gullies on wall of crater
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ESP 037506 2285gullychannelsclose.jpg|Close-up of gully channels  This image shows many streamlined forms and some benches along a channel.  These features suggest formation by running water.  Benches are usually formed when the water level goes down a bit and stays at that level for a time.
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File:ESP 053751 2150gullies.jpg|Gullies
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File:55122 2225gulliesclosecolor.jpg|Gullies, as seen by HiRISE under [[HiWish program]]
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</gallery>
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==Polygonal patterned ground==
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[[File:27707 2195gullygonsclose2.jpg|600pxr|Close-up of gully alcove showing "gullygons" (polygonal patterned ground near gullies), as seen by HiRISE under HiWish program]]
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              Close-up of gully alcove showing "gullygons" (polygonal patterned ground near gullies), as seen by HiRISE under HiWish program
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Polygonal, patterned ground is quite common in some regions of Mars.<ref>http://www.diss.fu-berlin.de/diss/servlets/MCRFileNodeServlet/FUDISS_derivate_000000003198/16_ColdClimateLandforms-13-utopia.pdf?hosts=</ref> <ref>Kostama, V.-P., M. Kreslavsky, Head, J.  2006. Recent high-latitude icy mantle in the northern plains of Mars: Characteristics and ages of emplacement. Geophys. Res. Lett. 33 (L11201). doi:10.1029/2006GL025946.</ref> <ref>Malin, M., Edgett, K.  2001.  Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera: Interplanetary cruise through primary mission. J. Geophys. Res. 106 (E10), 23429–23540.</ref> <ref>Milliken, R., et al.  2003. Viscous flow features on the surface of Mars: Observations from high-resolution Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) images. J. Geophys. Res. 108 (E6). doi:10.1029/2002JE002005.</ref> <ref>Mangold | first1 = N | year = 2005 | title = High latitude patterned grounds on Mars: Classification, distribution and climatic control | url = | journal = Icarus | volume = 174 | issue = | pages = 336–359 | doi = 10.1016/j.icarus.2004.07.030 | </ref> <ref>Kreslavsky, M., Head, J.  2000.  Kilometer-scale roughness on Mars: Results from MOLA data analysis. J. Geophys. Res. 105 (E11), 26695–26712.</ref> <ref>Seibert | first1 = N. | last2 = Kargel | first2 = J. | year = 2001 | title = Small-scale martian polygonal terrain: Implications for liquid surface water | url = | journal = Geophys. Res. Lett. | volume = 28 | issue = 5| pages = 899–902 | doi = 10.1029/2000gl012093 | </ref>  It is commonly believed that the shapes we see here are related to ground frozen with water ice.
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<gallery class="center"  widths="380px" heights="360px">
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27707 2195gullygonsclose.jpg|Close-up of gully alcove showing "gullygons" (polygonal patterned ground near gullies)
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</gallery>
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==Craters==
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Impact craters generally have a rim with ejecta around them, in contrast volcanic craters usually do not have a rim or ejecta deposits.<ref>Hugh H. Kieffer|title=Mars|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=NoDvAAAAMAAJ|accessdate=7 March 2011|year=1992|publisher=University of Arizona Press|isbn=978-0-8165-1257-7 </ref>  Sometimes craters display layers.  Since the collision that produces a crater is like a powerful explosion, rocks from deep underground are tossed unto the surface.  Hence, craters can show us what lies deep under the surface.
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<gallery class="center"  widths="380px" heights="360px">
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Image:Arandas Crater.JPG|Arandas Crater, as seen by HiRISE.  Scale bar is 1000 meters long.
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Image:Exhumedburied Craterin Coprates.jpg|Exhumed Crater in Mare Acidalium, as seen by [[Mars Global Surveyor]]  This crater was buried and now it is being uncovered.
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Image:ESP 026594 1470closecraters.jpg|Craters that formed at the same time.  If the craters were formed at different times, they would have wiped away parts of the others. These craters may been made when an asteroid broke up in the atmosphere. Picture was taken by HiRISE, under HiWish program.  Image located in Terra Cimmeria.
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Image:ESP 027538 2265.jpg|Crater wall covered with a smooth mantle
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ESP 052749 2285pits.jpg|Crater with pits on floor, as seen by HiRISE under [[HiWish program]]
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</gallery>
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==Mud volcanoes==
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[[File:ESP 047053 2165cones.jpg|600pxr|Line of possible mud volcanoes]]
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                                            Line of possible mud volcanoes
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Large areas of Mare Acidalium display bright spots on a dark background.  It has been suggested that these spots are mud volcanoes.<ref>Farrand | first1 = W. | display-authors = etal | year = 2005 | title = Pitted cones and domes on Mars: observations in Acidalia Planitia and Cydonia Mensae using MOC, THEMIS, and TES data | url = | journal = J. Geophys. Res. | volume = 110 | issue = | page = 14 | doi = 10.1029/2004JE002297 </ref> <ref>Tanaka, K. et al.  2003 Resurfacing history of the northern plains of Mars based on geologic mapping of Mars Global Surveyor data.  J. Geophys. Res.  108 (E4), doi:10.1029/2002JE001908.</ref><ref>Grotzinger, J. and R. Milliken (eds.)  2012.  Sedimentary Geology of Mars.  SEPM</ref>  More than 18,000 of these features, which have an average diameter of about 800 meters, have been mapped.<ref>Oehler, D. and C. Allen.  2010.  Evidence for pervasive mud volcanism in Acidalia Planitia, Mars.  Icarus: 208. 636-657.</ref>  As more observations poured in over the years, more evidence supported the notion that these abundant bright marks are mud volcanoes.  Mare Acidalium would have received large quantities of mud and fluids form outflow channels, so much mud may have accumulated there.  The bright mounds have been found to contain crystalline ferric oxides.  Mud volcanism may be highly significant because long lived conduits for upwelling groundwater could have been produced.  These could have been habitats for micro organisms.<ref>Komatsu, G., et al.  2014.  ASTROBIOLOGICAL POTENTIAL OF MUD VOLCANISM ON MARS.  45th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2014).  1085.pdf</ref>  Mud volcanoes could have brought up samples from deep zones that could be gathered by robots.<ref>Oehler | first1 = D | last2 = Allen | first2 = C. | year = 2011 | title = Evidence for pervasive mud volcanism in Acidalia Planitia, Mars | url = | journal = Icarus | volume = 208 | issue = | pages = 636–657 | doi = 10.1016/j.icarus.2010.03.031 }}</ref>  The authors of an article in Icarus compare these Martian features to mud volcanoes found on the Earth.  Their study using HiRISE images and CRISM data support the idea that these features are indeed mud volcanoes.  Nanophase ferric minerals and hydrated minerals found with Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) show that water was involved with the formation of these possible Martian mud volcanoes.<ref>Komatsu, G., et al.  2016.  Small edifice features in Chryse Planitia, Mars: Assessment of a mud volcano hypothesis.  Icarus: 268, 56-75.</ref>  Scientists are excited that Mars may have mud volcanoes because these small volcanoes may have brought up samples of dirt that were not affected by the high radiation on the Martian surface.  We may find evidence of past life in these volcanoes.
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<gallery class="center"  widths="380px" heights="360px">
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Image:White craters in Mare Acidalium.JPG|Craters with white centers in Mare Acidalium.  Sand dunes are visible in low areas in image.  Some of the features may be mud volcanoes.  Picture taken by [[Mars Global Surveyor]] under the MOC Public Targeting Program.
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ESP 040775 2235cones.jpg|Large field of cones that may be mud volcanoes
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040775 2235conesclose.jpg|Close-up of possible mud volcanoes Note: this is an enlargement of the previous image.
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ESP 044665 2240cone.jpg|Possible mud volcano, as seen by HiRISE under [[HiWish program]]
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ESP 046617 2210mudvolcanoes.jpg|Mud volcanoes
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</gallery>
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<gallery class="center" widths="190px" heights="180px" >
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ESP 052050 2200mudvolcanoes.jpg|Wide view of field of mud volcanoes
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</gallery>
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<gallery class="center"  widths="380px" heights="360px">
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Gobustan State Reserve 04.png|Close view of mud volcanoes on Earth Location is Gobustan Azerbaijan.
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</gallery>
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==Channels in Idaeus Fossae region==
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There is a 300 km long ancient river system in Idaeus Fossae.  It is carved into the highlands of Idaeus Fossae, and it originated from the melting of ice in the ground after asteroid impacts.  There is evidence that it was formed relatively recently.  Dating has determined that the water activity came after most of the water activity ended at the boundary between the Noachian and Hesperian periods.  Lakes and fan-shaped deposits were formed by running water in this system as it drained eastward into Liberta Crater and formed a delta deposit.  Part of the drainage path is the Moa Valley.<ref>Salese, F., G. Di Achille, F., et al.  2016.  Hydrological and sedimentary analyses of well-preserved paleo fluvial-paleolacustrine systems at Moa Valles, Mars.  J. Geophys. Res. Planets. 121, 194–232, doi:10.1002/2015JE004891.</ref> <ref>Salese, F., G. Di Achille, G. Ori.  2015.  SEDIMENTOLOGY OF A RIVER SYSTEM WITH A SERIES OF DAM-BREACH PALEOLAKES AT IDAEUS FOSSAE, MARS. 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2296.pdf</ref>
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<gallery class="center"  widths="380px" heights="360px">
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File:29054cutoff.jpg|Stream meander and cutoff, as seen by HiRISE under HiWish program.  This is part of a major drainage system in the Idaeus Fossae region.
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ESP 045590 2170hanging.jpg|Hanging valley, as seen by HiRISE under HiWish program This may have been a waterfall at one time.
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ESP 045946 2170channel.jpg|Hanging valley that once may have been a waterfall, as seen by HiRISE under HiWish program
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</gallery>
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==Channels==
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[[File:ESP 045867 2150channels.jpg|600pxr|Channels]]
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                                                Channels
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There is much evidence that water once flowed in river valleys on Mars.<ref>Baker | first1 = V. | display-authors = etal | year = 2015 | title = Fluvial geomorphology on Earth-like planetary surfaces: a review | journal = Geomorphology | volume = 245 | issue = | pages = 149–182 |</ref> <ref>Carr, M.  1996.  in Water on Mars.  Oxford Univ. Press.</ref>  Images of curved channels have been seen in images from Mars spacecraft dating back to the early seventies with the [[Mariner 9]] orbiter.<ref>Baker, V.  1982.  The Channels of Mars. Univ. of Tex. Press, Austin, TX</ref> <ref>Baker | first1 = V. | last2 = Strom | first2 = R. | last3 = Gulick | first3 = V. | last4 = Kargel | first4 = J. | last5 = Komatsu | first5 = G. | last6 = Kale | first6 = V. | year = 1991 | title = Ancient oceans, ice sheets and the hydrological cycle on Mars | url = | journal = Nature | volume = 352 | issue = | pages = 589–594 | doi = 10.1038/352589a0 | </ref> <ref> Carr | first1 = M | year = 1979 | title = Formation of Martian flood features by release of water from confined aquifers | url = | journal = J. Geophys. Res. | volume = 84 | issue = | pages = 2995–300 | doi = 10.1029/jb084ib06p02995 | </ref> <ref>Komar | first1 = P | year = 1979 | title = Comparisons of the hydraulics of water flows in Martian outflow channels with flows of similar scale on Earth | url = | journal = Icarus | volume = 37 | issue = | pages = 156–181 | doi = 10.1016/0019-1035(79)90123-4 | </ref>  We have seen more and more channels with each orbiter mission to the Red Planet.  Indeed, a study published in June 2017, calculated that the volume of water needed to carve all the channels on Mars was even larger than the proposed ocean that the planet may have had.<ref>http://spaceref.com/mars/how-much-water-was-needed-to-carve-valleys-on-mars.html</ref><ref>Luo, W., et al.  2017.  New Martian valley network volume estimate consistent with ancient ocean and warm and wet climate.  Nature Communications 8.  Article number:  15766 (2017).  doi:10.1038/ncomms15766</ref>
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<gallery class="center"  widths="380px" heights="360px">
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Wikisklodowskachannels.jpg|Channels in Sklodowska Crater, as seen by CTX camera (on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter)
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WikisklodowskaESP 035500 2130.jpg|Channels in Sklodowska Crater
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ESP 048003 2165channels.jpg|Channels, as seen by HiRISE under HiWish program
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</gallery>
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[[File:ESP 055374 2175channelnetwork.jpg|600pxr|Channel network]]
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                                              Channel network
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==Ocean==
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Many researchers have suggested that Mars once had a great ocean in the north.<ref>Parker | first1 = T. J. | last2 = Gorsline | first2 = D. S. | last3 = Saunders | first3 = R. S. | last4 = Pieri | first4 = D. C. | last5 = Schneeberger | first5 = D. M. | year = 1993 | title = Coastal geomorphology of the Martian northern plains | url = | journal = J. Geophys. Res. | volume = 98 | issue = E6| pages = 11061–11078 | doi=10.1029/93je00618 |</ref> <ref>Fairén | first1 = A. G. |display-authors=etal | year = 2003 | title = Episodic flood inundations of the northern plains of Mars | url = http://eprints.ucm.es/10431/1/9-Marte_3.pdf| journal = Icarus | volume = 165 | issue = 1| pages = 53–67 | </ref> <ref> Head | first1 = J. W. |display-authors=etal | year = 1999 | title = Possible ancient oceans on Mars: Evidence from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter data | url = | journal = Science | volume = 286 | issue = 5447| pages = 2134–2137 | doi=10.1126/science.286.5447.2134| pmid = 10591640 |</ref> <ref>Parker, T. J., Saunders, R. S. & Schneeberger, D. M. Transitional morphology in west Deuteronilus Mensae, Mars: Implications for modification of the lowland/upland boundary" ''Icarus'' 1989; 82, 111–145</ref> <ref>Carr | first1 = M. H. | last2 = Head | first2 = J. W. | year = 2003 | title = Oceans on Mars: An assessment of the observational evidence and possible fate | url = | journal = J. Geophys. Res. | volume = 108 | issue = E5| page = 5042 |</ref> <ref>Kreslavsky | first1 = M. A. | last2 = Head | first2 = J. W. | year = 2002| title = Fate of outflow channel effluent in the northern lowlands of Mars: The Vastitas Borealis Formation as a sublimation residue from frozen ponded bodies of water | url = | journal = J. Geophys. Res. | volume = 107 | issue = E12| page = 5121 |</ref> <ref>Clifford, S. M. & Parker, T. J. The evolution of the martian hydrosphere: Implications for the fate of a primordial ocean and the current state of the northern plains" ''Icarus'' 2001; 154, 40–79</ref> Much evidence for this ocean has been gathered over several decades.  New evidence was published in May 2016.  A large team of scientists described how some of the surface in Ismenius Lacus quadrangle was altered by two tsunamis.  The tsunamis were caused by asteroids striking into an ocean.  Both were thought to have been strong enough to create 30 km diameter craters.  The first tsunami picked up and carried boulders the size of cars or small houses.  The backwash from the wave formed channels by rearranging the boulders.  The second came in when the ocean was 300 m lower.  The second carried a great deal of ice which was dropped in valleys.  Calculations show that the average height of the waves would have been 50 m, but the heights would vary from 10 m to 120 m.  So, some large waves would have gone over a 36 story building.<ref>https://www.convertunits.com/from/metre/to/story</ref>  Asteroids hitting an ocean on Mars are quite possible.  Numerical simulations show that in this particular part of the ocean two 30 km in diameter would form every 30 million years.  The implication here is that a great northern ocean may have existed for millions of years.  One argument against an ocean has been the lack of shoreline features.  But shoreline features may have been washed away by these tsunami events.  The parts of Mars studied in this research are Chryse Planitia and northwestern Arabia Terra.  These tsunamis affected some surfaces in the [[Ismenius Lacus quadrangle]] and in the Mare Acidalium quadrangle.<ref>Ancient Tsunami Evidence on Mars Reveals Life Potential |date=May 20, 2016 |url=http://astrobiology.com/2016/05/ancient-tsunami-evidence-on-mars-reveals-life-potential.html</ref> <ref>Rodriguez | first1 = J. |display-authors=etal | year = 2016 | title = Tsunami waves extensively resurfaced the shorelines of an early Martian ocean | url = | journal = Scientific Reports | volume = 6 | issue = | page = 25106 | doi=10.1038/srep25106| pmid = 27196957 | pmc = 4872529 |</ref> <ref>| doi=10.1038/srep25106| pmid=27196957| pmc=4872529| title=Tsunami waves extensively resurfaced the shorelines of an early Martian ocean| journal=Scientific Reports| volume=6| pages=25106| year=2016| last1=Rodriguez| first1=J. Alexis P.| last2=Fairén| first2=Alberto G.| last3=Tanaka| first3=Kenneth L.| last4=Zarroca| first4=Mario| last5=Linares| first5=Rogelio| last6=Platz| first6=Thomas| last7=Komatsu| first7=Goro| last8=Miyamoto| first8=Hideaki| last9=Kargel| first9=Jeffrey S.| last10=Yan| first10=Jianguo| last11=Gulick| first11=Virginia| last12=Higuchi| first12=Kana| last13=Baker| first13=Victor R.| last14=Glines| first14=Natalie</ref> <ref>Cornell University. "Ancient tsunami evidence on Mars reveals life potential." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2016. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160519101756.htm.</ref>
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==Pingos==
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Pingos are believed to be present on Mars.  They are mounds that contain cracks.  These particular fractures were evidently produced by something emerging from below the brittle surface of Mars.  Ice lenses, resulting from the accumulation of ice beneath the surface, possibly created these mounds with fractures. Ice is less dense than rock, so the buried ice rose and pushed upwards on the surface and generated these cracks. An analogous process creates similar sized mounds in arctic tundra on Earth.  The name ''pingos'' is an Inuit word.<ref>http://www.uahirise.org/ESP_046359_1250</ref>  They contain pure water ice, so they would be a great source of water for future colonists on Mars.
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[[File:44322 2215pingos.jpg|600pxr|Arrows point to possible pingos, as seen by HiRISE under HiWish program Pingos contain a core of pure ice.]]
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                      Arrows point to possible pingos, as seen by HiRISE under HiWish program Pingos contain a core of pure ice.
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==Fractured ground==
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<gallery class="center"  widths="380px" heights="360px">
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44322 2215fractures.jpg|Fractures These fractures are believed to eventually turn into canyons because the cracks will get much larger when ice in the ground disappears into the thin Martian atmosphere and the remaining dust blows away.
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 +
ESP 046366 2215fractures.jpg|Wide view of fractured ground,  as seen by HiRISE under HiWish program Cracks form on the Martian surface, and then they turn into large fractures.
 +
 +
46366 2215fractures.jpg|Close view of fractures from the previous image
 +
 +
File:ESP 056968 2140cracks.jpg|Cracks on crater floor
 +
 +
File:56968 2140cracks.jpg|Close view of cracks on crater floor, as seen by HiRISE under [[HiWish program]]
 +
 +
File:ESP 057311 2125cracks.jpg|Group of cracks
 +
 +
File:ESP 057311 2125crackscraters.jpg|Close view of cracks of various sizes  Ice disappears along crack surfaces and makes crack larger.  Note that small craters do not have very big rims; they may be just pits.
 +
 +
File:57311 2155crackssmallarge.jpg|Close view of cracks of various sizes  Ice disappears along crack surfaces and makes crack larger.
 +
 +
File:57311 2155crackscrater.jpg|Cracks around crater, as seen by HiRISE under [[HiWish program]]
 +
 +
</gallery>
 +
 +
==Layers==
 +
 +
Layered terrain is common on the Earth and on Mars.  Water is usually involved with the formation of layers.  Hence, when we see layers, there is the possibility of a lake or sea in the past.
 +
 +
[[File:ESP 047080 2120layered mesa.jpg|600pxr|Layers in mesa, as seen by HiRISE under [[HiWish program]]]]
 +
                                Layers in mesa, as seen by HiRISE under [[HiWish program]]
 +
 +
Rock can be formed into layers in a variety of ways. Volcanoes, wind, or water can produce layers<ref>http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu?PSP_008437_1750</ref>  Layers can be hardened by the action of groundwater.  Martian ground water probably moved hundreds of kilometers, and in the process it dissolved many minerals from the rock it passed through.  When ground water surfaces in low areas containing sediments, water evaporates in the thin atmosphere and leaves behind minerals as deposits and/or cementing agents.
 +
 +
<gallery class="center"  widths="380px" heights="360px">
 +
 +
File:53490 2230layers.jpg|Close view of layers in a trough
 +
 +
</gallery>
 +
 +
==Features close to Face on Mars==
 +
 +
Here are some CTX images of area near the Face. These pictures show natural formations on Mars. In the area around the face are mesas, mud volcanoes, pedestal craters, and brain terrain. Many of the mesas are sitting on what looks like platforms. They may be from a change in sea level.  There is strong evidence building that an ocean was once all through the northern lowlands.  All of the features seen here are common on Mars, especially in this latitude.  For more pictures and information about the face go to The [[The Face on Mars]].
 +
 +
<gallery class="center"  widths="380px" heights="360px">
 +
 +
File:FaceG22 026771 2213 XI 41N009W.jpg|Terrain to the west of Face  Face is visible in upper right.
 +
 +
File:FacectxT01 00807 2205glaciers.jpg|Terrain near Face showing possible glacier erosion  Curved portions of the mounds look like the start of what are  called cirques that form as snow accumulates on mountains.<ref>http://www.landforms.eu/cairngorms/corrie%20formation.htm</ref>
 +
 +
File:FacectxD02 027892 2219pyramid.jpg|Mud volcanoes in terrain near Face
 +
 +
File:Faceg22 026771 2213pedestal.jpg|Mesa, mud volcano, and pedestal crater in area near Face.
 +
 +
</gallery>
 +
[[File:FacectxF23 044929 2199 XI 39N010Wlabeled.jpg|600pxr|Mesa, ridges, possible cirques near Face]]
 +
                              Mesa, ridges, possible cirques near Face.
 +
 +
== Other landscape features in Mare Acidalium quadrangle ==
 +
 +
<gallery class="center"  widths="380px" heights="360px">
 +
 +
Image:Cliff in Mare Acidalium.JPG|Cliff in Kasei Valles system, as seen by HiRISE
 +
 +
</gallery>
 +
 +
[[File:Rolling boulders in kasei.JPG|600pxr|Boulders that are about 2.2 yards acoss (smaller than a bedroom) and their tracks after rolling down a cliff in Kasei Valles system, as seen by HiRISE]]
 +
 +
Boulders that are about 2.2 yards across (smaller than a bedroom) and their tracks after rolling down a cliff in Kasei Valles system, as seen by HiRISE
 +
 +
 +
<gallery class="center"  widths="380px" heights="360px">
 +
 +
 +
Image:Context for fault.JPG|CTX image showing the context for the next image of a fault  The area in the black rectangle is enlarged in next photo.
 +
 +
Image:Fault in Mare Acidalium.JPG|Close-up of a possible fault in Mare Acidalium, as seen by HiRISE under the [[HiWish program]].  A circle is drawn around crater to show that it may be off round because of movement of the fault.  Many other faults are in the region.
 +
 +
ESP 045524 2120fan.jpg|Fan with channels on its surface
 +
 +
48924 2150ovalpits.jpg|Sample of oval pits in this location of unknown origin, as seen by HiRISE under HiWish program
 +
 +
</gallery>
 +
 +
== See also ==
 +
 +
*[[The Face on Mars]]
 +
*[[High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE)]]
 +
*[[HiWish program]]
 +
*[[How are features on Mars Named?]]
 +
 +
*[[Layers on Mars]]
 +
*[[Mars Global Surveyor]]
 +
 +
*[[Martian gullies]]
 +
*[[Oceans on Mars]]
 +
 +
*[[Rivers on Mars]]
 +
 +
== References ==
 +
 +
 +
 +
 
[[Category:Mars Atlas]]
 
[[Category:Mars Atlas]]

Latest revision as of 18:26, 24 March 2020

Mars topography (MOLA dataset) HiRes (1).jpg
MC-04 Mare Acidalium 30–65° N 0–60° W Quadrangles Atlas

The face on Mars is found in the lower right corner or the Mare Acidalium quadrangle, between the craters Aranda and Bamberg in the Cydonia Labyrinthus region.

The Mare Acidalium quadrangle contains many interesting features, but is most famous for an eroded mesa that looked like a face when originally seen in Viking images in the 70’s. Outstanding views of polygonal ground, mud volcanoes, gullies, and channels are here. In this article, some of the best pictures from a number of spacecraft will show what the landscape looks like in this region. The origins and significance of all features will be explained as they are currently understood.

The Mare Acidalium quadrangle is one of a series of 30 quadrangle maps of Mars used by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The quadrangle is located in the northern hemisphere and covers 30° to 65° north latitude and 0° to 60° west longitude (300° to 360° east longitude). The Mare Acidalium quadrangle is also referred to as MC-4 (Mars Chart-4).[1] The southern and northern borders of the quadrangle are approximately 3,065 km and 1,500 km wide, respectively. The north to south distance is about 2,050 km (slightly less than the length of Greenland).[2] The quadrangle covers a little over 3% of Mars’ surface.

Many regions with classical names are located here. Most of the region called Acidalia Planitia is found in Acidalium quadrangle. Parts of Tempe Terra, Arabia Terra, and Chryse Planitia are also in this quadrangle. This area contains many bright spots on a dark background that may be mud volcanoes. Lomonosov Crater and Kunowsky Crater are easily seen. The famous "face" on Mars is located in the Cydonia Mensae area--the southeastern part of quadrangle.

In this article, some of the best pictures from a number of spacecraft will show what the landscape looks like in this region. The origins and significance of all features will be explained as they are currently understood.

The quadrangle contains many interesting features, including gullies and possible shorelines of an ancient northern ocean. Some areas are densely layered. The boundary between the southern highlands and the northern lowlands lies in Mare Acidalium.[3] The Cydonia Region includes the Face on Mars (located near 40.8 degrees north and 9.6 degrees west). When Mars Global Surveyor examined it with high resolution, the face turned out to just be an eroded mesa.[4] Mare Acidalium contains the Kasei Valles system of canyons. This huge system is 300 miles wide in some places—Earth's Grand Canyon is only 18 miles wide.[5]

Origin of name

Mare Acidalium (Acidalian Sea) is the name of a classical albedo features on Mars located at 45° N and 330° E on Mars. The feature was named for a well or fountain in Boeotia, Greece. According to classical tradition, it is a location where Venus and the Graces bathed.[6] The name was approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in 1958.[7]


Gullies

Acidalia Colles Gullies and other features, as seen by HiRISE The scale bar is 1,000 meters long.

Acidalia Colles Gullies and other features, as seen by HiRISE The scale bar is 1,000 meters long.


The HiRISE image above of Acidalia Colles shows gullies in the northern hemisphere. Gullies occur on steep slopes, especially craters. Gullies are believed to be relatively young because they have few, if any craters, and they lie on top of sand dunes which are themselves young. Usually, each gully has an alcove, channel, and apron. Many researchers believed that the processes carving the gullies involved liquid water. However, with more observations and research this idea was changed. As soon as gullies were discovered, researchers began to image many gullies over and over, looking for possible changes. By 2006, some changes were found.[8] Later, with further analysis it was determined that the changes could have occurred with dry granular flows rather than being driven by flowing water.[9] [10] [11] With continued observations many more changes were found in Gasa Crater and other craters.[12] With more repeated observations, more and more changes were found; since the changes occur in the winter and spring, experts are tending to believe that gullies were formed from dry ice. Before-and-after images demonstrated the timing of this activity coincided with seasonal carbon-dioxide frost changes, and at temperatures that would not have allowed for liquid water. The conditions during gully formation are just about right to allow chunks of dry ice to slide down slopes. In addition, when dry ice frost changes to a gas, it may lubricate dry material to flow especially on steep slopes.[13] [14][15] In some years frost build up may be-as thick as 1 meter.

Polygonal patterned ground

Close-up of gully alcove showing "gullygons" (polygonal patterned ground near gullies), as seen by HiRISE under HiWish program

             Close-up of gully alcove showing "gullygons" (polygonal patterned ground near gullies), as seen by HiRISE under HiWish program 


Polygonal, patterned ground is quite common in some regions of Mars.[16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] It is commonly believed that the shapes we see here are related to ground frozen with water ice.

Craters

Impact craters generally have a rim with ejecta around them, in contrast volcanic craters usually do not have a rim or ejecta deposits.[23] Sometimes craters display layers. Since the collision that produces a crater is like a powerful explosion, rocks from deep underground are tossed unto the surface. Hence, craters can show us what lies deep under the surface.

Mud volcanoes

Line of possible mud volcanoes

                                            Line of possible mud volcanoes


Large areas of Mare Acidalium display bright spots on a dark background. It has been suggested that these spots are mud volcanoes.[24] [25][26] More than 18,000 of these features, which have an average diameter of about 800 meters, have been mapped.[27] As more observations poured in over the years, more evidence supported the notion that these abundant bright marks are mud volcanoes. Mare Acidalium would have received large quantities of mud and fluids form outflow channels, so much mud may have accumulated there. The bright mounds have been found to contain crystalline ferric oxides. Mud volcanism may be highly significant because long lived conduits for upwelling groundwater could have been produced. These could have been habitats for micro organisms.[28] Mud volcanoes could have brought up samples from deep zones that could be gathered by robots.[29] The authors of an article in Icarus compare these Martian features to mud volcanoes found on the Earth. Their study using HiRISE images and CRISM data support the idea that these features are indeed mud volcanoes. Nanophase ferric minerals and hydrated minerals found with Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) show that water was involved with the formation of these possible Martian mud volcanoes.[30] Scientists are excited that Mars may have mud volcanoes because these small volcanoes may have brought up samples of dirt that were not affected by the high radiation on the Martian surface. We may find evidence of past life in these volcanoes.

Channels in Idaeus Fossae region

There is a 300 km long ancient river system in Idaeus Fossae. It is carved into the highlands of Idaeus Fossae, and it originated from the melting of ice in the ground after asteroid impacts. There is evidence that it was formed relatively recently. Dating has determined that the water activity came after most of the water activity ended at the boundary between the Noachian and Hesperian periods. Lakes and fan-shaped deposits were formed by running water in this system as it drained eastward into Liberta Crater and formed a delta deposit. Part of the drainage path is the Moa Valley.[31] [32]

Channels

Channels

                                               Channels

There is much evidence that water once flowed in river valleys on Mars.[33] [34] Images of curved channels have been seen in images from Mars spacecraft dating back to the early seventies with the Mariner 9 orbiter.[35] [36] [37] [38] We have seen more and more channels with each orbiter mission to the Red Planet. Indeed, a study published in June 2017, calculated that the volume of water needed to carve all the channels on Mars was even larger than the proposed ocean that the planet may have had.[39][40]

Channel network

                                              Channel network

Ocean

Many researchers have suggested that Mars once had a great ocean in the north.[41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46] [47] Much evidence for this ocean has been gathered over several decades. New evidence was published in May 2016. A large team of scientists described how some of the surface in Ismenius Lacus quadrangle was altered by two tsunamis. The tsunamis were caused by asteroids striking into an ocean. Both were thought to have been strong enough to create 30 km diameter craters. The first tsunami picked up and carried boulders the size of cars or small houses. The backwash from the wave formed channels by rearranging the boulders. The second came in when the ocean was 300 m lower. The second carried a great deal of ice which was dropped in valleys. Calculations show that the average height of the waves would have been 50 m, but the heights would vary from 10 m to 120 m. So, some large waves would have gone over a 36 story building.[48] Asteroids hitting an ocean on Mars are quite possible. Numerical simulations show that in this particular part of the ocean two 30 km in diameter would form every 30 million years. The implication here is that a great northern ocean may have existed for millions of years. One argument against an ocean has been the lack of shoreline features. But shoreline features may have been washed away by these tsunami events. The parts of Mars studied in this research are Chryse Planitia and northwestern Arabia Terra. These tsunamis affected some surfaces in the Ismenius Lacus quadrangle and in the Mare Acidalium quadrangle.[49] [50] [51] [52]

Pingos

Pingos are believed to be present on Mars. They are mounds that contain cracks. These particular fractures were evidently produced by something emerging from below the brittle surface of Mars. Ice lenses, resulting from the accumulation of ice beneath the surface, possibly created these mounds with fractures. Ice is less dense than rock, so the buried ice rose and pushed upwards on the surface and generated these cracks. An analogous process creates similar sized mounds in arctic tundra on Earth. The name pingos is an Inuit word.[53] They contain pure water ice, so they would be a great source of water for future colonists on Mars.


Arrows point to possible pingos, as seen by HiRISE under HiWish program Pingos contain a core of pure ice.

                      Arrows point to possible pingos, as seen by HiRISE under HiWish program Pingos contain a core of pure ice.

Fractured ground

Layers

Layered terrain is common on the Earth and on Mars. Water is usually involved with the formation of layers. Hence, when we see layers, there is the possibility of a lake or sea in the past.

Layers in mesa, as seen by HiRISE under HiWish program

                               Layers in mesa, as seen by HiRISE under HiWish program

Rock can be formed into layers in a variety of ways. Volcanoes, wind, or water can produce layers[54] Layers can be hardened by the action of groundwater. Martian ground water probably moved hundreds of kilometers, and in the process it dissolved many minerals from the rock it passed through. When ground water surfaces in low areas containing sediments, water evaporates in the thin atmosphere and leaves behind minerals as deposits and/or cementing agents.

Features close to Face on Mars

Here are some CTX images of area near the Face. These pictures show natural formations on Mars. In the area around the face are mesas, mud volcanoes, pedestal craters, and brain terrain. Many of the mesas are sitting on what looks like platforms. They may be from a change in sea level. There is strong evidence building that an ocean was once all through the northern lowlands. All of the features seen here are common on Mars, especially in this latitude. For more pictures and information about the face go to The The Face on Mars.

Mesa, ridges, possible cirques near Face

                              Mesa, ridges, possible cirques near Face.

Other landscape features in Mare Acidalium quadrangle

Boulders that are about 2.2 yards acoss (smaller than a bedroom) and their tracks after rolling down a cliff in Kasei Valles system, as seen by HiRISE

Boulders that are about 2.2 yards across (smaller than a bedroom) and their tracks after rolling down a cliff in Kasei Valles system, as seen by HiRISE


See also

References

  1. Davies, M.E.; Batson, R.M.; Wu, S.S.C. "Geodesy and Cartography" in Kieffer, H.H.; Jakosky, B.M.; Snyder, C.W.; Matthews, M.S., Eds. Mars. University of Arizona Press: Tucson, 1992.
  2. Distances calculated using NASA World Wind measuring tool. http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/.
  3. http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/PSP_010354_2165
  4. http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mgs/msss/camera/images/moc_5_24_01/face/index.html
  5. http://hiroc.lpl.arizona.edu/images/PSP/diafotizo.php?ID=PSP_001640_2125
  6. Blunck, J. 1982. Mars and its Satellites. Exposition Press. Smithtown, N.Y.
  7. USGS Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. Mars. http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/.
  8. Malin, M., K. Edgett, L. Posiolova, S. McColley, E. Dobrea. 2006. Present-day impact cratering rate and contemporary gully activity on Mars. Science 314, 1573_1577.
  9. Kolb, et al. 2010. Investigating gully flow emplacement mechanisms using apex slopes. Icarus 2008, 132-142.
  10. McEwen, A. et al. 2007. A closer look at water-related geological activity on Mars. Science 317, 1706-1708.
  11. Pelletier, J., et al. 2008. Recent bright gully deposits on Mars wet or dry flow? Geology 36, 211-214.
  12. NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA orbiter finds new gully channel on Mars." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 March 2014. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140322094409.htm
  13. http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2014-226
  14. http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_032078_1420
  15. http://www.space.com/26534-mars-gullies-dry-ice.html
  16. http://www.diss.fu-berlin.de/diss/servlets/MCRFileNodeServlet/FUDISS_derivate_000000003198/16_ColdClimateLandforms-13-utopia.pdf?hosts=
  17. Kostama, V.-P., M. Kreslavsky, Head, J. 2006. Recent high-latitude icy mantle in the northern plains of Mars: Characteristics and ages of emplacement. Geophys. Res. Lett. 33 (L11201). doi:10.1029/2006GL025946.
  18. Malin, M., Edgett, K. 2001. Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera: Interplanetary cruise through primary mission. J. Geophys. Res. 106 (E10), 23429–23540.
  19. Milliken, R., et al. 2003. Viscous flow features on the surface of Mars: Observations from high-resolution Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) images. J. Geophys. Res. 108 (E6). doi:10.1029/2002JE002005.
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  49. Ancient Tsunami Evidence on Mars Reveals Life Potential |date=May 20, 2016 |url=http://astrobiology.com/2016/05/ancient-tsunami-evidence-on-mars-reveals-life-potential.html
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