Like Earth's water table, Mars has an ice table. Sometimes, the ice table coincides with the ground's surface as it does here. The knobby, pitted terrain is caused when ice is deposited and then sublimates over and over again. This geologic process is called "accrescence" and "decrescence" and also occurs on Neptune's moon Triton and on Pluto, though in the outer Solar System the ice is not water ice.
Other evidence for ice here includes the rope-like, curved flow feature that resembles glacial flow.
Solis Planum -- a huge mound south of Valles Marineris -- is the location of this image.
The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.
|Target||Mars||Earth, Neptune, Pluto, Triton|
|System||Mars||Earth, Neptune, Pluto|
|Target Type||Planet||Dwarf Planet, Earth, Satellite|
|Mission||Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)|
|Instrument Host||Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)|
|Instrument||High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE)|
|Extra Keywords||Color, Map, Water|
|Date in Caption|
|Image Credit||NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona|