Martian Surface Features-Exercise
Answer the following questions in complete sentences using the
map provided of the Martian surface:
- What probably caused the huge plains regions primarily
found in the northern hemisphere? (There are several
- Which is older, the plains or the cratered terrain found
mostly in the southern hemisphere? How can you tell?
- What evidence do you find for large impacts on Mars?
- Do you see any evidence on this map for large scale
erosion by wind, water, or both? (Hint: Look at 25'S,
245' along with other regions.)
- What can be said about the general elevation of the
plains areas surrounding the volcanoes?
- What might cause this?
- Plate techtonics causes the crust to move over the mantle
on the earth. Volcanoes form over stationary 'hot spots'
in the mantle, but plate techtonics on earth removes the
volcanoes from the hot spots thus limiting the time of
growth of the volcano. A new volcano can then form on the
crust now over the hot spot. What does your answer to
question 6 say about the possibility of plate techtonics
on Mars? (Note, the height of Olympus Mons is 27km while
Mauna Kea is 10km high).
- Locate the Valles Marineris. Describe this feature and
compare it to terrestrial features. What process (more
than one) do you think helped to create it?
- The Mars Polar Lander will be launched on January 3, 1999
and will land on Mars on December 3 1999. It will land
between 75 and 80 degrees south latitude. Why do you
think scientists want it to land in the polar regions of
- Summarize the possible land modifying processes that have
occurred on Mars and their relative importance to Martian
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