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Mars satellite captures image of giant ‘claw marks’

Mars satellite captures image of giant ‘claw marks’

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The fault system — dubbed the “Tantalus Fossae” — is a system of lengthy troughs lying along the eastern flank of a vast, low-lying volcano known as Alba Mons

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The fossae formed around 3.6–3.2 billion years ago as the summit of the volcano rose in elevation, causing the surrounding surface of the Red Planet to crack open.

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As pairs of parallel faults opened up, the rock between them would drop down, forming a trough that geologists refer to as a “graben”.

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As the Tantalus Fossae formed on the eastern side of Alba Mons, similar graben structures also developed on the other side of the volcano.

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Together, the two fossae form an incomplete ring around the volcano, stretching over more than 620 miles.

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The grabens, meanwhile, stretch up to 6.2 miles in width and can be some 1,150 feet deep.

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