NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
Extensional faulting, wherein some fraction of the martian crust is pulled apart and faults are formed where the bedrock breaks, has also led to formation of collapse pits in the Tractus Fossae region. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows one such pit and the layered bedrock exposed in its walls. Dark streaks on the slopes of the pit result from avalanches of dry, fine-grained debris (probably dust, as these streaks are only found in the dust-mantled regions of Mars). This pit is located near 23.5°N, 103.8°W. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.
Other versions of this picture:
Full-resolution GIF (~3.7 m/pixel) of entire original image, M15-01055
Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission. MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, California. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Surveyor Operations Project operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena, California and Denver, Colorado.