National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has tweeted a mesmerising image of relatively fresh landslide on Mars. The stunning image shows boulder covered landslip along a canyon wall.
The high-resolution image was captured by the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera equipped on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) back on 19 March in the year 2014. According to NASA scientists, the striking feature of the image is a boulder-covered landslide along a canyon wall.
For readers those who don’t know — Landslides occur when steep slopes fail, sending a mass of soil and rock to flow downhill, leaving behind a scarp at the top of the slope. After reaching the shallower slopes, the mass of materials comes to rest and forms a lobe of material that forms a well-defined structure called a toe.
A landslide is the movement of rock, debris or earth down a slope. They result from the failure of the materials which make up the hill slope and are driven by the force of gravity. Landslides are known also as landslips, slumps or slope failure.
In addition, one can clearly see several small impact craters in the image. The number of impact craters and its size is more near the landslip lobe while its density decreases around valley floor. According to NASA scientists, the scarp is relatively fresh when compared to rest of the cliff, which is a remarkable find.
Also, there is a scarp on the cliff side similar to the landslip scarp in the north. Scientists say that there is not much material below the valley floor which suggest that either landslip material has been removed or buried, another proof of relatively fresh bouldery landslip.
Moreover, NASA’s Curiosity rover has been sending breathtaking images of the red planet since it landed on the planet back in 2012. The landslip is an another milestone in search of life on planet other than Earth.
First published on: Dec 30, 2015, 12:03 PM