Banded terrain

Banded terrain


14/03/2019 3:00 pm


ESA/Roscosmos/CaSSIS, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO


This image captures a landform on Mars peculiar to the Hellas Basin, sometimes referred to as ‘banded terrain’. The pictured area belongs to the western part of the basin, which contains the lowest lying surfaces on Mars – up to 7 km below the defined zero level.

The terrain gives the impression that bands of material are flowing downhill. There is some evidence that the bands are ice-rich, but interpretations have not yet reached an agreement. In addition to the banded terrain seen at lower left and upper right in this orientation, some dust erosion in the form of dark streaks is also evident.

The image was taken by the Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) onboard the ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter on 12 December 2018. It is centred at 39.04ºS/53.9ºE.

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