PIA04550: Exhuming Platy Plains
Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Mars Global Surveyor (MGS)
Spacecraft: Mars Global Surveyor Orbiter
Instrument: Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
Product Size: 540 x 810 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Malin Space Science Systems
Full-Res TIFF: PIA04550.tif (438.1 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA04550.jpg (118.3 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:
MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-377, 31 May 2003

The vast plains of Mars located south of Cerberus and the Elysium volcanoes have a platy, textured surface thought to have formed by floods of thick mud or, more likely, very fluid lava. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows that the platy plain--which is the darker surface covering most of the northern two-thirds of this picture--is being exhumed from beneath a brighter material. The small ridges in the bright material are yardangs, a landform created by wind erosion. Wind is slowly eroding the bright material away, revealing the darker, platy surface below. This area is located near 4.3N, 208.5W. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the left/lower left.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Image Addition Date:
2003-06-02