Candor Chasma is one of the largest canyons in the Valles Marineris canyon system on Mars. The feature is geographically divided into two halves: East and West Candor Chasmas, respectively. It is unclear how the canyon originally formed; one theory is that it was expanded and deepened by tectonic processes similar to a graben, while another suggests that it was formed by subsurface water erosion similar to a karst. MRO discovered sulfates, hydrated sulfates, and iron oxides in Candor Chasma.
One of the pictures below shows branched channels. Many places on Mars show channels of different sizes. Many of these channels probably carried water, at least for a time. The climate of Mars may have been such in the past that water ran on its surface. It has been known for some time that Mars undergoes many large changes in its tilt or obliquity because its two small moons lack the gravity to stabilize it, as our moon stabilizes Earth; at times the tilt of Mars has even been greater than 80 degrees
Tectonic fractures in Candor Chasma as seen by HiRISE
Channels in Candor plateau, as seen by HiRISE. Location is Coprates quadrangle. Click on image to see many small, branched channels which are strong evidence for sustained precipitation.
- ESA - Mars Express - Walls of Candor Chasma
- 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.
- Touma J. and J. Wisdom. 1993. The Chaotic Obliquity of Mars. Science 259, 1294-1297.
- Laskar, J., A. Correia, M. Gastineau, F. Joutel, B. Levrard, and P. Robutel. 2004. Long term evolution and chaotic diffusion of the insolation quantities of Mars. Icarus 170, 343-364.
- HiRISE observation of tectonic fractures
- Virtual flyover of Candor Chasma at an altitude of 100 meters by Adrian Lark and Mars3D.com; see album for more
- High resolution flyover video by Seán Doran of layered terrain in southwest Candor Chasma, and more videos of Ceti Mensa, based on NASA digital terrain models; see album for more
- Flyover video of Ceti Mensa and west Candor Chasma by Carter Emmart; see album for more
- NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day: In Chandor Chasmata on Mars (31 May 2001)
- NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day: Candor and Ophir Chasmata (13 February 2003)
- NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day: Melas, Candor and Ophir: Valleys of Mariner (18 February 2005)
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