Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Orbiter Camera

Lineated Valley Floor, Northern Arabia

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-153, 19 July 1999


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Valley floors in the martian middle latitudes (30° and 50°)--particularly among the troughs and valleys of the "fretted terrain" in northern Arabia Terra--have curious ridged, grooved, and pitted surfaces known prior to the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) mission as "lineated valley fill." Before the MGS mission, some people had thought that the lineated valley floors might be the result of flow--like the material in a glacier on Earth. The MOC image suggests that these features are not glaciers and they show very little evidence (if any) of flow. Their origin is presently unknown. This MGS Mars Orbiter Camera image was taken in July 1998. Illumination is from the right.


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, CA. 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, CA and Denver, CO.

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