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Bright and Dark Terrain in Noctis Labyrinthus
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Bright and Dark Terrain in Noctis Labyrinthus

December 1, 2011
This image shows the transitional terrain where the linear troughs and rounded pits of Noctis Labyrinthus merge with the larger chasmata of Valles Marineris. Unusual bright blocks can be seen beneath a layered dark mantle.

The bright blocks also have some layering and show hydration features in CRISM spectra. The bright blocks are jagged and irregular in shape, perhaps because they represent impact material or because they are partially obscured beneath a dark mantle so we cannot see their full extent.

The dark mantle consists of aeolian (wind-driven) material (as evidenced by linear ripples) as well as a finely layered unit. The dark layered mantle does not show any hydration features in CRISM spectra so perhaps it represents multiple events of wind deposition where each time this material was laid down it became a distinct layer.

Written by: Cathy Weitz

Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona


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