Chasm in Gale Craters Interior Mound PSP0068551750
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Chasm in Gale Crater's Interior Mound (PSP_006855_1750)

July 6, 2010
Gale Crater is a large (152 kilometer diameter) crater in the cratered highlands of Mars near the highland/lowland divide. The crater contains a large central mound of layered, or stratified, material that is more than 2 km thick in some places.

Visible in this image is a deep chasm cutting through these layers, which are spectacularly exposed in the chasm walls. On the floor of this chasm is a sinuous, positive-relief feature that may be an inverted channel deposit. Inverted channels occur when sediment in a stream hardens and becomes cemented in place due to water-deposited minerals. After the flow ceased, later erosion removed the surrounding softer rock, leaving the cemented channel deposit as a positive rather than a negative relief feature.

This chasm may actually be classified as a canyon, which is specifically a chasm or gorge that was carved by running water. Written by: Brad Thomson

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