Publication Reveals New Insights into Mysterious Slope Streaks on Mars

Release Date:

You won’t want to miss out on Geomorphological evidence for a dry dust avalanche origin of slope streaks on Mars!

Slope Streak Found on Mars

A new slope streak on a slope with older, faded streaks. Ridges are visible within the streak where it divided into several lobes. Downhill is towards the bottom of the image. (Cutout from HiRISE image ESP_029420_1800 (0.1°S, 37.9°E).)

Photo Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona 

A new paper in Nature Geoscience by USGS Research Geologist Colin Dundas, PhD, examines the formation of slope streaks on Mars. Slope streaks are found in dusty regions of Mars and their origins have been debated. Using before-and-after images by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), the paper shows evidence that the streaks form via dust avalanches. Most have little effect on the surface topography, but topographic changes occur in several cases. This study is the highest-resolution look at the effects of slope streak formation and shows details that were not previously observed.