The divide in a giant Martian lava river

The divide in a giant Martian lava river
Click for original image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, rotated, cropped, reduced, sharpened, and annotated to post here, was taken on September 24, 2023 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

As indicated by the arrows, this is a frozen river of lava on Mars, flowing to the southwest and then splitting into two streams, one to the west and the other to the south. Being a Martian lava flow, when it was liquid it flowed much faster than lava on Earth, almost like a thick water. The flow bored into any high features, such as the two mesas in this picture, and streamlined their shapes, tearing material away as the lava moved by quickly. In the process the lava flow exposed many layers in those mesas, indicating many other previous lava flow events.

The crater in the lower mesa, where the stream splits, appears to have been more resistent to the flow, having been compacted into harder and denser material by the impact itself.
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