Mosaic of Valles Marineris from the Viking Orbiter 1, reproduced at a scale of 80 meters/pixel.
Click on image for full size
Image from: Malin Space Science Systems
Steep slopes of Valles Marineris
High resolution images returned by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft allow closer examination of this unusual canyon. As shown here, slopes seem to descend steeply to the north and south
debris-filled gullies with intervening rocky spurs, reminiscent of terrestrial canyons.
Scientists question whether sedimentary processes, such as the ones which formed the Earth's Grand Canyon also formed these canyons. In any case,
these images indicate that there may have been a complex and extremely active early
history for geologic processes on Mars.
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