Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

Residual South Polar Cap Features

  • Henrik Hargitai
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_411


Steep-sided depressions, which may occur in groups and may form characteristic patterns, in the south polar ice cap of Mars.


Circular and elongate depressions and sags (Malin and Edgett 2001) showing flat floors and steeply sided walls, commonly with debris aprons. These depressions are superposed on water ice-rich materials, probably the upper surface of the polar-layered deposits of the southern permanent polar cap of Mars (Mangold 2011).


Morphological Subtypes of Depressions

  1. (1)

    Moats or moat-like depressions of diverse shape around round depressions and mesas (this is called the geological Unit B, as defined by Thomas 2003; Fig. 1).

  2. (2)

    Fingerprint terrain: sets of linear depressions (troughs) (Unit A2) (Thomas et al. 2000; Thomas 2003) showing parallel and tuning-fork patterns (Fig. 2). They are restricted to limited areas; consistent trends in their orientation suggest structural control. These depressions are typically 60–120 m across (Thomas...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NASA Ames Research Center/NPPMoffett FieldUSA