Click for original image.
Cool image time! The photo to the right, cropped, reduced, and sharpened to post here, was taken on October 25, 2022 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). It shows a small meandering canyon that appears to drain into a larger side canyon, all part of a region of chaos terrain dubbed Galaxias Chaos in the Martian northern mid-latitudes.
Though the latitude is 35 degrees north, where we should see lots of evidence of glacial features, especially because this is chaos terrain — terrain unique to Mars — that generally appears formed by such processes, I find few outright obvious glacial features in this cropped portion or in the full image.
The white dot north of the shield volcano Elysium Mons marks the location of this picture. Once again, at this latitude it is pretty routine to find glacial features. It is likely that even though nothing in this picture is obviously glacial, the ground here is permeated with ice, which when it sublimates away leaves behind the stippled surfaces. Furthermore, the channel heading downhill from the top center and along the base of the cliff sure seems to be a typical Martian glacial flow, though not plainly so.
Regardless, this small channel, which scientists for decades have assumed was formed — like all of Mars channels — by flowing liquid water, could very well have been carved by the ubiquitous glaciers on Mars. If so, that glacier became a glacial waterfall when it reached the cliff, and then continued downhill to the north, as seen by the faint channel cutting through the ridges below the plateau.
Or not. It remains an unresolved question whether the channels of Mars were caused by water or ice.
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