Margaritifer Terra is an ancient, heavily cratered region of Mars. It is centered just south of the Martian equator at 4°54′S 25°00′W / 4.9°S 25°WCoordinates: 4°54′S 25°00′W / 4.9°S 25°W and covers 2600 km at its widest extent. The area reveals "chaos terrain", outflow channels, and alluvial plains that are indicative of massive flooding. Wind erosion patterns are also in evidence. A region within the terra shows some of the highest valley network densities on the planet. Ares Vallis is another notable feature, where the flood and flow patterns are in evidence; it was the landing site of Mars 6 and NASA's Mars Pathfinder. It is also one of several proposed landing sites for the Mars 2020 Rover.
Holden and Eberswalde, craters in Margaritifer Terra are thought to have formerly held lakes because they contain deltas and iron/magnesium smectite minerals which need water to form.
Margaritifer Terra was named in 1979, after the Pearl Coast, south India.
- ^ Blue, Jennifer. "Margaritifer Terra". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology Research Program.
- ^ "Choosing a place to land NASA's next Mars rover". Arizona State University News. 16 May 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
- ^ Murchie, S. et al. 2009. A synthesis of Martian aqueous mineralogy after 1 Mars year of observations from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Journal of Geophysical Research: 114.