HiRISE: It shrinks! It cracks!

ESP_049723_1880Given enough time, impact craters on Mars tend to fill up with different materials. For instance, some craters on Mars had lakes inside them in the past. When these lakes dried out, they left behind traces of their past existence, such as sedimentary deposits (materials that were carried along with the running water into the lake inside the crater and then settled down). Some craters, especially in high latitudes, contain ice deposits that filled the crater when an earlier ice age allowed ice to extend into the crater’s latitude.

Here, we have a crater that lies close to Elysium, a major volcanic system on Mars. The whole region surrounding the crater was at some point covered by lava from the volcano creating vast lava plains, and in the process, flooding impact craters in their way. [More at link]

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