Seen from Mars’ orbit, they form a bizarre, chaotic pattern on the planet’s surface – hundreds of isolated mountains up to 2,000 meters high. Planetary geologists refer to the weird features as ‘chaotic terrain.’
Such terrains are found over a large area to both the west and east of Valles Marineris, the largest canyon in the entire solar system. Hydraotes Chaos, showcased in this video, is a typical example of this type of landscape.
The data used to generate these images and the simulated flyover were acquired with the High Resolution Stereo Camera on ESA’s Mars Express orbiter.