Valles Marineris

Valles Marineris

. Internal forces split Mars open billions of years ago, creating a vast system of connected canyons (center). Landslides, winds and water have subsequently modified the terrain. Collectively known as Valles Marineris, the canyons extend from the Noctis Labyrinthus in the west (left) to the chaotic terrain in the east (right), spanning more than 4000 kilometers and averaging 8 kilometers in depth. This panorama is a mosaic of images taken from Viking 1. (Courtesy of NASA, JPL and the U.S. Geological Survey.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University