More martian geology

Planetary Science Institute

— Lobate flows – Lobe-shaped flow features that have pitted surfaces and raised ridges on their lateral margins are observed on the walls of some craters. These lobes resemble rock glaciers on Earth.

— Channels – Narrow channels often breach crater walls and extend outside the craters, as well as across crater floors, These channels may have been formed by flowing water.

— Crater-wall valleys – Trough-like crater-wall valleys, wider than the above-mentioned channels, typically start at the top of the crater rim and terminate where the wall meets the floor. These valleys are sometimes filled with rough-textured deposits, which may be glacial.

— Gullies and alcoves – Gullies are typically composed of three parts: alcoves at the head of a channel, channels, and debris fans, and are thought to have been formed by flowing water.

— Arcuate ridges – These are small, arc-shaped ridges that enclose depressions at the base of crater walls, often below gullies. Berman interprets these to be glacial moraines, remnants of glacial deposits that have since evaporated.

— Debris aprons – These aprons are pitted and lineated deposits on crater floors. They are similar to debris-covered glaciers or ice-rich landslides seen on Earth.

All of these features suggest a landscape shaped by liquid water and/or ice, Berman said. He found that lobate flows, gullies, and arcuate ridges on the crater walls between latitudes of 30 to 45 degrees face the pole in their hemisphere, whereas equator-facing orientations are more common than pole-facing ones at latitudes between 45 and 60 degrees. In the southern study area, narrow channels generally had pole-facing orientations, whereas wider valleys generally have equator-facing orientations.

It’s a whole effing planet out there waiting to be explored. Probably as much to learn there about planets as on this one. It does kinda boggle the mind.


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