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Radial Ridge in Deposit Near Pavonis Mons
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Radial Ridge in Deposit Near Pavonis Mons

February 7, 2007
This image shows an enigmatic ridge within a broad deposit west of Pavonis Mons, oriented roughly radial to the volcano.

The origin of the deposit is uncertain; one possibility is that it formed during an episode of cold-based glaciation in a different Martian climate. In other areas (outside the region shown here) it forms a series of arcuate concentric ridges which may be moraines. The textured appearance shown here of the surface is common in much of the deposit.

The large ridge in the left part of the image appears to have trapped some dust, as it has a smooth, mantled appearance. There are also many wind-blown ripples in the western part of the image. The ridge itself may be due to a volcanic eruption along a fissure system, possibly under ice if Pavonis Mons was once glaciated.

Unfortunately, the mantling at this site has obscured most underlying details of the ridge which could clarify the conditions under which it formed.


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