The newly released image of a relatively fresh landslide on Mars, released by NASA, has showed boulder-covered landslip along a canyon wall. According to researchers, landslides occur when steep slopes fail, which makes huge amount of soil and rock flow downhill. This leaves behind a scarp at the top of the slope.
The mass of material comes to a still position on reaching shallower slopes, and forms a lobe of material, ending in a well-defined edge known as a toe.
The photograph was captured on March 19, 2014 by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The outstanding feature of the image is a boulder-covered landslide along a canyon wall.
The researchers said that the landslide was relatively fresh, because there were many individual boulders still standing out over the main deposit. Moreover, while many small impact craters were visible in the landslide lobe, they were quite smaller in size and lesser in number as compared to the ones on the surrounding valley floor.
Furthermore, the scarp itself also looked fresh in comparison to the rest of the cliff, which also has boulders and more diverse topography as compared to the adjacent dusty terrain. On the north of the landslide scarp, there was a similarly-shaped scar on the cliff-side. But, there was no landslide material on the valley floor under it.
An additional indication of the relative youth of the bouldery landslide was that the older landslide deposit was either been removed or buried.