October 9, 2009
This image shows the rugged cratered highland region of Libya Montes. Libya Montes forms part of the rim of an ancient impact basin called Isidis. This region of the highlands is dissected with numerous valley networks. There is still debate within the scientific community as to how valley networks themselves form: surface runoff (rainfall/snowmelt) or headward erosion via groundwater sapping. The degree of dissection here in this region suggests surface runoff rather than groundwater sapping. Small dunes are also visible on the floors of some of these channels.
Topics: Environment, Earth, Planetary science, Nature, Headward erosion, Libya Montes, Groundwater sapping, Iapygia quadrangle, Erosion, Environmental soil science, Geomorphology, Surface runoff, Hydrology, valley networks