January 1998 Volume 7 Number 1

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Layers In Valles Marineris!

Mars Global Surveyor image of layers in Valles Marineris.This image shows unexpected layering in a canyon wall in Tithonium Chasma/Ius Chasma in the Valles Marineris system. Nearly 80 layers were counted by the MGS team. The layers vary in thickness from 5 to 50 meters (16 to 160 feet). This cliff, over 1,000 meters (3,200 feet) tall, is only one of several outcrops that, together, indicate layering down through almost the entire depth of the canyon.

This type of bedrock layering has never been seen before in Valles Marineris. It calls into question some common views about the upper crust of Mars-- for example, the notion that there is a deep layer of impact crater-generated rubble underlying most of the martian surface.

Valles Marineris is named after Mariner 9, which discovered it in 1972. The canyon system is so long that it would stretch from Los Angeles to New York.

MGS image obtained October 3, 1997, centered near 6.6 degrees south, 90.4 degrees west. Sunlight is coming from the left. Image courtesy Malin Space Science Systems, JPL, and NASA.

For TES News Article Related to This Figure, See...

MGS and TES Update, December 19, 1997
by Greg Mehall

TES News is published quarterly by the Arizona Mars K-12 Education Program. This newsletter may be copied for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.

EDITED BY Kenneth S. Edgett, Arizona Mars K-12 Education Program, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA.
E-mail: ken.edgett@asu.edu