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Spider-Like Channels
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Spider-Like Channels

August 13, 2014
This caption is part of a December 2007 AGU presentation "Spring at the South Pole of Mars."

Have you ever found that to describe something you had to go to the dictionary and search for just the right word?

The south polar terrain is so full of unearthly features that we had to visit Mr. Webster to find a suitable term. "Araneiform" means "spider-like". These are channels that are carved in the surface by carbon dioxide gas. We do not have this process on Earth.

The channels are somewhat radially organized and widen and deepen as they converge. In the past we've just referred to them as "spiders." "Isolated araneiform topography" means that our features look like spiders that are not in contact with each other. Written by: Candy Hansen

Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona



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