Monday, June 13, 2005

Stu's View

Stu, storyteller from words to be written, come up with a new window over Ultreya:
After an image posted by Slinted on the Unmanned Spaceflight forum he made some work and came out with this image:

Which suggests him to that the dark streaky features might be multiple large-scale dust-falls, or even dust avalanches, fallen away from the side of a very steep cliff, causing material to spread out in an apron over the floor of a shallow basin.
Following his words on the Mars Forum:
‘Like I said, I'm just an interested observer here, looking for a great location for a story, but if you think of features - i.e. gullies - we've seen elsewhere on Mars, and consider that we've seen steep cliffs elsewhere too, and when you also consider the "mini-landslide" of material seen recently by Spirit at the outcrop (something has to have caused that movement, maybe some seismic activity... mightn't that same activity cause avalanches into Ultreya?) I just thought it was worth mentioning. ‘
...
‘I definitely want a closer look too! If those dark streaks are landslides or avalanches it might mean some spectacular views of skree- and boulder-strewn slopes, and aprons spreading away from their bases, like the ones we have here in the Lake District down the sides of some of our taller fells (mountains and hills)... any avalanches might have exposed underlying bedrock too, or layering, or... well, we can only guess.’
This is the ‘skree’ Stu is talking about:


To end, or to follow up with close attention:‘Just wondering, too, if martian avalanches might account for the differences between images taken at different times: if the cliffside is unstable, then different avalanches at different times might have led to the differences we see... ‘

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