Quilted plains on Mars

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Leovinus

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This was the photo on my 2/4/05 SPACE page-a-day calendar. Caption from the calendar reads:<br /><br /><i>Unusual patters are common on Mars' northern plains. One example shown in this Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) image appears as lines of dots, actually mounds and chains of mounds, with the faint remains of a buried impact crater near the center. On Earth, similarly patterned terrain in places such as Alaska, Northern Canada, and Siberia is typically an indicator of ground ice. Whether ground ice currently exists on Mars remains to be determined, although many geologic ffeatures on the Martian surfaces lend strong evidence that there is at least a history of the existence of ice.</i><br /><br />I'm hoping that someone on this board could explain to me how ground ice makes lines of dots like this. Also, if anybody has photos from Alaska or Canada of similar features, I'd like to see those. <br /><br />I think this would be an excellent place to land a nuclear-powered rover. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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Leovinus

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I don't know. Polygons sound like closed shapes with sides and corners. The Mars picture looks like rows of dots like the plains were combed. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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nacnud

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Found another interesting site describing patterned ground in the Cairngorm region of Scotland. There are various types of sorted patterned ground including 'stone circles', 'stone polygons', 'stone nets', 'stone steps', and 'stone stripes'.<br /><br />One diagram shows polygons forming on flat terrain while stripes form on slopes.<br /><br />Space Ref also has an article on this: Polygonal Patterned Ground: Surface Similarities Between Mars and Earth<br />
 
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silylene old

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Interesting thought, Yurkin. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><em><font color="#0000ff">- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -</font></em> </div><div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><font color="#0000ff"><em>I really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function.</em></font> </div> </div>
 
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