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This un-named crater in southwestern Arabia Terra contains a treasure! Layered sediments are the key to the puzzle of Martian history. They tell us about the conditions that existed when the sediments were deposited, and how they changed over time.

This image shows an eroded mesa made up of rhythmically layered bedrock that seems to indicate cyclic deposition. The layers are accentuated by recent dark sand deposits that have accumulated on the benches of the brighter sediments. The plateau is topped by a younger set of layers that appear to be finer and less blocky than the older layers below, suggesting a different depositional environment. Similar layered sediments are found in nearby craters in southwestern Arabia Terra.


Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona https://www.uahirise.org/hipod/ESP_059289_1890
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