15 August 2004 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a strange ridged pattern developed in an eroding layer of material on the floor of a Labyrinthus Noctis depression in the Valles Marineris system. The ridges bear some resemblance to ripple-like dunes seen elsewhere on Mars, but they are linked to the erosion of a specific layer of material--i.e., something in the rock record of Mars. Similar ridged textures are found in eroded dark-toned mantling layers in regions as far away as northern Sinus Meridiani and Mawrth Vallis. The explanation for these landforms is as elusive as this image is evocative. The image is located near 8.2S, 93.6W, and covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) across. The scene is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left.


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