Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tectonic signatures at Aeolis Mensae

29.06.2007
The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board Mars Express has provided snapshots of the Aeolis Mensae region. This area, well known for its wind-eroded features, lies on a tectonic transition zone, characterised by incised valleys and unexplained linear features.

Illuminated by the Sun from the west (right side in the image), the pictures are of a ground resolution of approximately 13 metres per pixel. The region, imaged on 26 and 29 March 2007, during Mars Express orbits 4136 and 4247, is located at approximately 6° South and 145° East.

The morphology of the terrain, which lies close to the volcanic region of Elysium, is characterised by an extensive transition zone or the so-called ‘global crustal dichotomy boundary’ which separates the southern highlands and northern lowlands. It exhibits clod-shaped or lumpy relief separated by valleys and graben structures, or elongated, trench-like erosional features.

Aeolis Mensae is located at the border between the northern plains and the southern highlands, indicated by the transition zone. The area shown in the image mosaic is part of the southern highlands and the transition zone to the north. Between the highlands and the plains there is a large average difference in elevation, of about 3000 metres. The origin of this dichotomy is currently a subject of discussion.

2500 metre-deep valleys are incised into the highlands in the northern part of the scene showing linear features on the floor of the valley. Although the origins are unclear, they may have been created by glacial processes, a conclusion drawn from the study of similar glacial grooves on Earth. But since the features are orthogonal to the elongation of the valley, a glacial origin is unlikely. It is possible that the features originate due to erosion caused by the wind.

Since the valleys lie close to the transition zone between the southern highlands and the northern plains (the crustal dichotomy boundary), scientists believe that the valleys might originate primarily from tectonic activity.

Aeolis Mensae is well-known for its features most probably related to aeolian, or wind-related, activity on the planet's surface and exhibits a number of so-called 'yardangs'.

Yardangs are long, irregular ridges with sharp crests that lie between two round-bottomed troughs carved out by wind erosion in an arid region. In this picture, they are more or less linear to streamlined remnants of resistant material shaped by the action of sand-blown material which eroded the weaker material. They can reach a length of several hundred metres. The direction of the yardangs is from southeast to northwest indicating the prevalent wind direction.

These structures are also found in deserts on Earth where winds are the main agent of change for the landscape. Such features have previously been observed by Mars Express’ HRSC near Olympus Mons on 5 May 2004, orbit number 143.

If the layered material is more resistant to the action of wind-blown sands, the landscape can be carved out differently, as can be seen in the southern and less dissected area of Aeolis Mensae, where individual layers become visible.

The images in colour have been derived from the three HRSC colour channels in combination with the nadir channel. The perspective view was obtained from a Digital Terrain Model derived from the HRSC stereo channels.

The 3D (anaglyph) images were calculated by pulling together data from the nadir channel and one of the stereo channels. The black and white high resolution images were derived from the nadir channel, which provides the highest level of detail.

The colour and nadir scenes are a mosaic of pictures derived from orbits 4136 and 4147. Image resolution has been decreased for easier downloading.

Agustin Chicarro | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Mars_Express/SEMF399OY2F_0.html

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future
27.04.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Penn researchers quantify the changes that lightning inspires in rock
27.04.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>