Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 17:24 EDT
Gullies of Gorgonus Chaos
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Gullies of Gorgonus Chaos

October 8, 2009
This fractured surface belongs to a portion of a region called Gorgonum Chaos located in the southern hemisphere of Mars. Gorgonum Chaos is named after the Gorgons in ancient Greek mythology. The Gorgons were monstrous sisters with snakes for hair, tusks like boars and lolling tongues who lived in caves. As it turns out this is indeed a fitting name for this region of Mars because it contains a high density of gullies that snake their way down the walls of the troughs located in this region of chaos terrain. Upon closer examination one finds that these gullies and alluvial deposits, initially discovered by Mars Global Surveyor, are visible on the trough walls (best seen near the bottom of the image). These gullies appear to emanate from a specific layer in the walls. The gullies have been proposed to have formed by the subsurface release of water.