MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-317, 8 August 2002
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The gullies shown here occur on the layered north wall of a crater in Newton Basin near 41.8°S, 158.0°W. The picture was obtained by MOC in May 2002. Dark sand dunes are visible at the bottom of the image, especially at the lower right. This view has an aspect ratio of 1.5 to 1; that is, the image covers an area 4.3 km (2.7 mi) from top to bottom and 2.9 km (1.8 mi) from left to right. Nearly all of the craters in Newton Basin have a plethora of similar gullies, suggesting that Newton is the site of an aquifer. Instead of forming by seepage and runoff of groundwater, other researchers have suggested that martian gullies may form by melting of ground ice, melting of surficial snow (under climate conditions different than today), or discharge of carbon dioxide that somehow became buried under the martian surface. None of these alternatives can explain all of the observed attributes of the gullies, especially their associations with specific layers. Seeping water, potentially as a saline brine, remains the most likely explanation.
Previous MGS MOC Releases about Gullies:
Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, CA. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, CA and Denver, CO.
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