HiPOD: 23 June 2019
Polygonal Fracturing of the South Polar Layered Deposits

Polygonal Fracturing of the South Polar Layered Deposits
This image shows the south polar layered deposits, with curving layer outcrops caused by erosion of valleys into the deposits.

On closer inspection, polygonal (mostly rectangular) fractures are visible, mostly near the center of the image. Polygonal fractures are also observed in the north polar layered deposits, but typically on a much smaller scale.

Here in the south, the fractures cross layer boundaries, while in the north the fractures are usually confined to a single layer. Therefore, the fractures in the south polar layered deposits formed after the surface was eroded to the configuration seen here, probably due to expansion and contraction of water ice below the surface.



ID: PSP_004959_0865
date: 17 August 2007
altitude: 245 km
Observation details page

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NASA/JPL/UArizona
Black & white is less than 5 km across; enhanced color is less than 1 km