NASA revealed new images of differently shaped ridges on Mars. These deep ridges formed due to lava which flowed into previously formed cracks in the ground. They have later opposed to the process of erosion better compared to other materials around them. A new study regarding polygon-developing ridges provides an analysis of the network in the Medusae Fossae area crossing the equator of the Red Planet.
- NASA reveales differently shaped ridges on the surface of Mars.
- These ridges may give scientists clues about the history of the Red Plant.
- Some of these networks may indicate that water existed on Mars in he past.
Similar systems formed out of differently shaped ridges were revealed in other parts of Mars. Laura Kerber of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California who is also the lead author of the study, noted that these ridges located in Medusae Fossae region triggered scientists to search and discover more such polygonal ridges.
The new study was published this month in the Icarus magazine. This pattern is sometimes called box work ridges. Several lines intersect being the outlines of numerous adjoining polygons, triangles, pentagons and rectangles. Despite the fact that they are similar in shape, these networks are different regarding origin, and they also vary in scale, some being only a few inches broad while others cover miles.
During several Mars missions, the rovers revealed small versions of these networks, being able to investigate them and their formation. Some of these differently shaped ridges like the one at the ”Garden City” captured by Curiosity rover are shaped like veins deposited by mineral-laden groundwater which moved through underground cracks long before erosion even exposed these veins.
What is more, Curiosity craft has recently captured some small box work ridges which most likely originates as mud fissures. Nevertheless, when looking at the other end of the scale, there are rectangle rims which are more than mile wide, situated in an area known as “Inca City,” somewhere near the south pole of the Red Planet.
These large patterns may have formed due to impact-related anomalies happening underground. The cracks were filled due to the rising lava which hardened and then was exposed to erosion processes. Kerber also claimed that polygonal ridges could occur in many different ways, some of them playing an important role in the understanding of the Red Planet’s history. Several of these ridges represent mineral veins. Mineral veins indicate that sometime in the past water was flowing through the cracks underground.
Image source: wikipedia