Gale Crater Mound
October 12, 2009
The eroded, layered deposit in Gale Crater is a mound of material rising 3 km above the crater floor. It has been sculpted by wind and possibly water to produce the dramatic landforms seen today. The origin of the sedimentary material that composes the mound remains a contested issue: was it produced from sedimentation in an ancient crater lake or by airfall onto dry land? The small channels seen in the image are evidence of recent fluid flow. Mega-ripples (a dune form) are found in the region, most likely formed by the same winds that have eroded the layered deposit.