Marte Vallis


Marte Vallis
Marte Vallis based on day THEMIS.png
Marte Vallis based on THEMIS day-time image
Coordinates15°00′N 176°30′W / 15°N 176.5°W / 15; -176.5Coordinates: 15°00′N 176°30′W / 15°N 176.5°W / 15; -176.5
Columnar jointing in basalt, Marte Vallis. Image courtesy High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, University of Arizona.[1]

Marte Vallis is a valley in the Amazonis quadrangle of Mars, located at 15 North and 176.5 West. It is 185 km long and was named for the Spanish word for "Mars".[2] It has been identified as an outflow channel, carved in the geological past by catastrophic release of water from aquifers beneath the Martian surface.[3] The surface material is thought to have been created out of 'a'ā and pāhoehoe lava flows from the Elysium volcanic province in the west.[4]

Marte Vallis is the site of the first discovery of columnar jointing on Mars.[1] Columnar jointing often forms when basalt lava cools.[5]


  1. ^ a b Milazzo, M.P., Keszthelyi, L.P., Jaeger, W.L. Rosiek, M., Mattson, S., Verba, C., Beyer, R.A., Geissler, P.E., McEwen, A.S., and the HiRISE Team. (2009) Discovery of columnar jointing on Mars. Geology. 37(2), 171–174. Abstract
  2. ^
  3. ^ Carr, M.H. (2006), The Surface of Mars. Cambridge Planetary Science Series, Cambridge University Press.
  4. ^ Voigt, Joana R. C.; Hamilton, Christopher W. (2018-07-15). "Investigating the volcanic versus aqueous origin of the surficial deposits in Eastern Elysium Planitia, Mars". Icarus. 309: 389–410. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2018.03.009. ISSN 0019-1035.
  5. ^ Bates, R. and J. Jackson (eds.) 1976. Dictionary of Geological Terms. Doubleday, New York.

See also