Kasei Vallis Channel Splitting

Scaled Image

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU

About this image

Originating on the margin of Lunae Planum, the Kasei Vallis complex contains two main channels that run east-west across Tempe Terra and empty into Chryse Planitia. The formation of Kasei Vallis is still being studied and several theories exist. It is thought that volcanic subsurface heating in the Tharsis/Lunae Planum region resulted in a release of water, which carved the channels and produced the landforms seen within the channels. One theory is that this was a one-time catastrophic event, another theory speculates that several flooding events occurred over a long time period. Others have proposed that some of the landforms (especially scour marks and teardropshaped 'islands') are the result of glacial flow rather than liquid flow. Teardrop shaped islands are common in terrestrial rivers, where the water is eroding material in the channel. A glacial feature called a drumlin has the exact same shape, but is formed by deposition beneath continental glaciers. This VIS image illustrates the complexity of the main channel. At the top of the image the channel splits with a narrow side channel heading north. At the bottom of the image, the channel splits again.

Please see the THEMIS Data Citation Note for details on crediting THEMIS images. 


Image ID: 
V05095012 (View data in Mars Image Explorer)
2003-02-06 17:39
Wed, 2005-04-20
1024 pixels (19 km)
3648 pixels (67 km)
0.018516 km/pixel
0.018651 km/pixel


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