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Relief is exaggerated in this near terminator (low Sun) photograph of the northwest margin of the Aristarchus Plateau. A broad graben (approximately 15 km wide) separates the rugged linear mountain chain from the sloping plateau surface. The crenulate profiles of mare wrinkle ridges (some as high as 200 m) are visible on the horizon; one mare ridge bisects the graben. Sinuous rilles are prominent in the graben; several originate on the plateau. The surface of the mare in the graben appears to be higher on the west side of the mare ridge, suggesting faulting associated with ridge formation. The rille A crossing the ridge is nearly 100 km long and has interlocking meanders, which preclude its formation as merely a crack in the mare surface; erosion by downstream transport of a fluid seems necessary to explain such sinuosity. Origin of the diamond shaped Aristarchus plateau itself is enigmatic, although its relatively straight edges suggest fault control. -C.A.H.
Report Source: NASA SP-362, Page 188, Figure 195
This web page was created by Francis Ridge
for The Lunascan Project
Section Directory 18