NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter used its HiRISE camera to capture bizarre shapes inside an Arabia Terra crater that are located on the south sides, but not in the north. This upland region is believed to be of great age due to its battered topography and covers as much as 2,000-miles at its longest extent. It was given this name in 1879 after a corresponding albedo feature on a map by Giovanni Schiaparelli, who named it in turn after the Arabian peninsula.
What we’re looking at in this image of the crater are deposits with horizontal laminations that could be layers or terraces. There are also radial striations formed by small bright ridges. In addition to Arabia Terra’s many craters, you’ll also find canyons that wind through the region, with many emptying into the large northern lowlands of the planet, which borders it to the north.
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We suspect that these features formed by sublimation of ice-rich material. The terraces might represent different epochs of sublimation. Perhaps the larger craters penetrated to a water table between 45 and 60 meters below the surface and were flooded after formation,” said Paul Geissler, Academic Researcher from University of Arizona.