What created these white ridges on Mars?
showing the white ridges, including some of the highest resolution images
ever taken from Martian orbit, were recorded last year by the
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).
leading hypothesis is that the white ridges formed as water flowed through
underground cracks and bleached and hardened the edges of surrounding rocks.
Over millions of years, surface winds eroded the darker rock leaving the raised white ridges.
Such water-created light-colored markings are well known here on
The hypothesis is particularly interesting as underground water
could have helped to support
microbial life on the red world.
The above image resolves surface features as small as one meter across in
Candor Chasma region of huge
Valles Marineris on