Defrosting Gully Aprons
June 21, 2003
This is a late winter Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) picture of frost-covered gullies in a crater in the martian southern hemisphere. The dark spots are areas where the frost has begun to change or sublime away. The gullies are formed by a combination of mass movement (landsliding) and possibly fluid flow through the channels--whether the fluid was liquid water or some other material is unknown. Today, the surfaces are dry and subjected to the seasonal coming-and-going of carbon dioxide frost. The image is located near 71.0°S, 95.5°W. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the upper left.