Saturday, March 06, 2010

Special issue on HiRISE Martian landforms

The January special issue of Icarus offers 21 papers on results from the Univ. of Arizona-managed HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The papers cover "Martian landforms shaped by winds, water, lava flow, seasonal icing and other forces."

Among the highlights addressed are:

Valleys associated with light-toned layered deposits in several locations along the plateaus adjacent to the largest canyon system on Mars suggest low-temperature alteration of volcanic rocks by acidic water both before and after formation of the canyons.

The youngest flood-lava flow on Mars, found in the Elysium Planitia region and covering an area the size of Oregon, is the product of a single eruption and was put in place turbulently over a span of several weeks at most.

New details are observed in how seasonal vanishing of carbon-dioxide ice sheets in far-southern latitudes imprints the ground with fan-shaped and spider-shaped patterns via venting of carbon-dioxide gas from the undersurface of the ice.

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