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The layered history of Mars as revealed in Valles Marineris

14 Sep 2021, 20:01 UTC
The layered history of Mars as revealed in Valles Marineris
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Cool image time! The photo to the right, rotated, cropped, and reduced, shows just one tiny cliff face in the gigantic canyon on Mars dubbed Valles Marineris. The photo was taken on June 13, 2021 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).
Like many other similar cliff faces that MRO has photographed and that I have previously highlighted, there are many many layers visible here. In fact, it appears that almost every cliff in this part of Valles Marineris is many layered, suggesting that like the Grand Canyon on Earth, the canyon as it was carved exposed in great detail the long geological history of Mars.
In this part of Mars, each layer probably represents the placementof a new layer of volcanic material, pouring out from the giant volcanoes in the Tharsis Bulge to the west. In addition, overlain on this volcanic record are probably deposits lain down by the atmosphere as Mars underwent its many climate cycles due to the regular shifts in its orbit and rotational tilt.

We are just too far away at this time to really dig in and truly decipher that layered history.
The overview map to ...

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