Posted by BC on March 5th, 2008
Avalanches were recorded in action by the High Resolution Imaging Experiment (HiRISE) as it orbited Mars on Feb. 19. The images showed unexpected action as scientists looked for changes in the frozen carbon dioxide fields during Martian spring season. No one knows what set off the avalanches, but the geologic interest of researchers has been piqued, and more study is intended.
The water cycle can be studied more thoroughly by looking at the ice that fell from the top of the embankment to the bottom. The water ice in the material will change to gas, and scientists can perhaps find out more about the seasonal shifts in the ice field.
If more avalanches are imaged and studies, more about the geologic shifting of surface material, erosion, will be known. Whether the avalanches are seasonal is one of the questions that researchers hope to answer.
More about Avalanches on Mars and the HiRise cameras can be found at the NASA site.