Sedimentary Processes on Earth and Mars

December 06, 2000


Provided by: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Systems/USGS
Summary authors & editors: Martin Ruzek

Earlier this week scientists released images from Mars (above left) taken by the Mars Global Surveyor revealing layered terrain indicative of sedimentary processes. Distinct, thick layers of rock within craters and other depressions indicate that they may have formed in lakes or shallow seas sometime during Mars' distant past. As a comparison, two areas on our home planet are presented to the same scale on the right. The upper image of an area near arid Death Valley shows the complex landsape that even occasional water erosion can create. The image of the Palouse region of Washington state in the lower right shows evidence of broad erosional features formed by the sudden draining of glacial lakes as they eroded soft wind blown sediments.

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