Astronomy:Marte Vallis

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Marte Vallis
Marte Vallis based on day THEMIS.png
Marte Vallis based on THEMIS day-time image
CoordinatesCoordinates: 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. 1.0 1.1 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
  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" (in en). 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