NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured a massive landslide on Mars, showing a boulder-covered landslide along a canyon wall. The landslide was relatively fresh as many individual boulders stood above the main deposit. Additionally, while several small impact craters are visible in the landslide lobe, they are smaller in size and fewer in number than those on the surrounding valley floor. Also Read - NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter uses same chip as Samsung Galaxy S5, OnePlus OneAlso Read - NASA Perseverance Mars rover uses 1998 iMac processor with just one upgrade
The scarp looks fresh compared to the rest of the cliff: it, too, has boulders and more varied topography than the adjacent dusty terrain. Also Read - NASA astronauts complete seven hour spacewalk to prep ISS for new solar panels
The landslide was captured by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the US space agency said in a statement. Just to the north of the landslide scarp is a similarly-shaped scar on the cliff-side. However, there is no landslide material on the valley floor below it.
The older landslide deposit has either been removed or buried, a further indicator of the relative youth of the boulder landslide. Landslides occur when steep slopes fail, sending a mass of soil and rock to flow downhill, leaving behind a scarp at the top of the slope. The mass of material comes to rest when it reaches shallower slopes, forming a lobe of material that ends in a well-defined edge called a toe.