Layered polar terrain

Layered polar terrain

. These layers, exposed in the south polar residual cap, consist of bright, frozen carbon dioxide and dark, fine dust deposited over millions of years. Water ice could also be mixed in, but no one knows for sure. The layered terrain in both the north and south residual caps is thought to contain detailed records of the climate history of Mars. This image covers an area of 10 kilometers by 4 kilometers. It was taken from the Mars Global Surveyor in October 1999 at 87 degrees south and 10 degrees west, near the central region of the residual south polar cap. (Courtesy of NASA, JPL and Malin Space Science Systems.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University