Glossary of Mars features

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The following definitions as used by Google Mars. This table serves as a starting point for more detailed descriptions of each Martian surface feature. Use examples from the Regions Category.

Term Description
Albedo Geographic area distinguished by amount of reflected light
Arcus, arcūs Arc-shaped feature
Catena, catenae Chain of craters
Cavus, cavi Hollows, irregular steep-sided depressions usually in arrays or clusters
Chaos Distinctive area of broken terrain
Chasma, chasmata A deep, elongated, steep-sided depression (i.e. Candor Chasma)
Colles Small hills or knobs
Crater, craters A circular depression
Dorsum, dorsa Ridge
Fluctus Flow terrain
Fossa, fossae Long, narrow, shallow depression
Labes Landslide
Labyrinthus, labyrinthi Complex of intersecting valleys
Lingula, lingulae Extension of plateau having rounded lobate or tongue-like boundaries
Mensa, mensae A flat-topped prominence with cliff-like edges
Mons, montes Mountain (i.e. Olympus Mons)
Palus, paludes small plain
Patera, paterae An irregular crater, or a complex one with scalloped edges
Planitia, planitiae Low plain (i.e. Chryse Planitia)
Planum, plana Plateau or high plain
Rupes Scarp
Scopulus, scopuli Lobate or irregular scarp
Sulcus, sulci Subparallel furrows and ridges
Terra, terrae Extensive land mass (i.e. Terra Sirenum)
Tholus, tholi Small domical mountain or hill
Undae Dunes
Vallis, valles Valley (i.e. Ares Vallis, Valles Marineris)
Vastitas, vastitates Extensive plain

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