Global topography of Mars

Global topography of Mars

. The laser altimeter on Mars Global Surveyor yielded this precise global relief map of Mars, with the south pole (S) at the bottom and the north pole (N) at the top. The red areas in the southern hemisphere are high regions, about four thousand meters above the average surface height, and the blue regions of the northern hemisphere are low places, about four thousand meters below the average height. Since it is mainly downhill from south to north, ancient flood waters must have flowed in that direction, within the blue-colored outflow channels to the east (right) of Valles Marineris and to the west (left) of Olympus Mons, perhaps emptying into the northern lowlands and forming an ancient ocean there. (Courtesy of JPL and NASA.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University