Aurorae Chaos in colour

Aurorae Chaos
Aurorae Chaos in colour
Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Aurorae Chaos in colour

The transition zone between the plateaus of the Martian highlands in Margaritifer Terra and the chaotic areas in the Aurorae Chaos depression have been shaped by radical geological processes. Water stored in cavities beneath the surface as underground ice thawed due to heating and escaped onto the surface. The resulting cavities collapsed, and much of the rock debris was carried away by the water as a sediment load. In the surrounding area, individual table mountains and buttes remained as remnants of the original plateau, forming the Aurorae Chaos landscape as it appears today. The transition zone to the highlands features fissures and grabens formed due to tectonic tensions in the Martian crust. In addition, smaller chaos regions can be made out to the south of the escarpment (left in the image).      

The transition zone between the plateaus of the Martian highlands in Margaritifer Terra and the chaotic areas in the Aurorae Chaos depression have been shaped by radical geological processes. Water stored in cavities beneath the surface as underground ice thawed due to heating and escaped onto the surface. The resulting cavities collapsed, and much of the rock debris was carried away by the water as a sediment load. In the surrounding area, individual table mountains and buttes remained as remnants of the original plateau, forming the Aurorae Chaos landscape as it appears today. The transition zone to the highlands features fissures and grabens formed due to tectonic tensions in the Martian crust. In addition, smaller chaos regions can be made out to the south of the escarpment (left in the image).      

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