Kasei Channels

Ancient floods carved Kasei Valles
April 1, 2012
CreditNASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/HI-RISE
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Billions of years ago, floodwaters emerged from Echus Chasma on the northern side of Valles Marineris, the "Grand Canyon" of Mars. The waters then poured across the landscape as they headed for the northern lowlands, carving a giant channel named Kasei Valles. In the scene here, the floodwaters moved generally left to right, dividing and merging to erode a network of linked channels. Where the floods encountered hills and craters in their path, they often left a streamlined mesa behind the feature, pointing like a pennant downstream. False colors display the nature of the ground surface. Areas in cool tints have more fine-grain materials (such as sand and dust) at the surface, while redder tints indicate areas with harder sediments and outcrops of rock.