Erythraea Fossa Features
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Erythraea Fossa Features

March 7, 2014
These light-toned ridges are found in a large fracture located east of Holden Crater and form a curious box-like pattern.

A hair-line fracture runs along the axis of each ridge line. The overall pattern spans several hundred meters across and individual ridges are several meters wide. Scientists are not sure how they formed yet, but some possible explanations suggest that mineral-rich ground water flowed out of the hairline fractures and deposited minerals at or near the surface as the water evaporated.

In addition, these minerals may have formed a cement along the fractures, making these patterns more resistant to subsequent erosion by wind or other processes. The resulting cemented ridges then stand high above the surrounding plains.

Written by: Ginny Gulick

Credits: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

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