MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-456, 18 August 2003
Nature has created some interesting artwork on the south polar residual cap of Mars. This July 2003 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows an example. The patterns in this picture are formed by erosion and sublimation of multiple layers of frozen carbon dioxide. The artwork is ephemeral and changing with each passing summer. By the end of the coming southern summer, the scarps in this area will have retreated an average of 3 meters (3.3 yards); some of the smaller buttes and ridges will have vanished. This picture covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and is located near 86.6°S, 358.2°W. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the upper left.