Active Flows on Steep Slopes in Ganges Chasma on Mars

©NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Ganges Chasma

This image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter covers a steep west-facing slope in southwestern Ganges Chasma, north of the larger canyons of Valles Marineris.

The spot was targeted both for the bedrock exposures and to look for active slope processes.

We see two distinct flow deposits: lobate flows that are relatively bright, sometimes with dark fringes, and very thin brownish lines that resemble recurring slope lineae (or 'RSL'). Both flows emanate from rocky alcoves. The RSL are superimposed on the lobate deposits (perhaps rocky debris flows), so they are younger and more active.

The possible role of water in forming the debris flows and RSL are the subjects of continuing debate among scientists. We will acquire more images here to see if the candidate RSL are active.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona Larger image

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