Mars Express Image: Lava deposits in Mangala Fossae

Press Release From: ESA Mars Express Mission
Posted: Friday, September 26, 2008



The High Resolution Stereo Camera obtained images of the Mangala Fossae trough, a system of outflow channels on Mars that bears evidence of lava deposition and catastrophic floods.

Mangala Fossae lies at approximately 17* south and 213* east. The region is approximately 1000 km long, located south-west of the volcanic region Tharsis, where the highest known volcano in the Solar System, Olympus Mons, is located. The images were obtained on 21 March 2007.

The large outflow channels were most likely formed due to sudden flash floods during which large amounts of water were mobilised underground. This may have been triggered by heat from magma that arose in the Mangala Fossae region, melting and discharging enormous amounts of frozen groundwater.

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