Spiral Mountain Found On Mars

This April 2003 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a stair-stepped mound of sedimentary rock (right of center) on the floor of a large impact crater in western Arabia Terra near 11.0’N, 4.4’W. Sedimentary rock outcrops are common in the craters of this region. The repeated thickness and uniformity of the layers that make up this mound suggest that their depositional environment was one in which cyclic or episodic events occurred over some period of time. The sediments might have been deposited in a lake, or they may have settled directly out of the atmosphere. Most of the layered material was later eroded away, leaving this circular mound and the other nearby mesas and knobs. The image is illuminated by sunlight from the lower left

Credit:  NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems