Mars’ seasonal cap of carbon dioxide ice sublimates – goes directly from ice to gas – every spring. The process erodes the underlying terrain as it has in this region above to leave fascinating patterns shapes and colours.
The troughs are believed to be formed by gas flowing beneath the seasonal ice to openings where the gas escapes, carrying along dust from the surface below. The dust falls to the surface of the ice in fan-shaped deposits.
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
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