Mars is an asymmetrical planet. The north polar region is lower than average and the south polar region is higher. Recently it has been proposed that the northern lowlands might actually be one or more giant impact basins.
This view looks down on Mars' north pole. The Tharsis Plateau is at left with two of its great shield volcanoes visible. Alba Mons is at left center and Olympus Mons is above it. Another great volcano, Elysium Mons, is at upper right. The Isidis impact basin is at the far right edge.
At Mars' north pole is a plateau of layered, probably wind deposited rocks. The odd pinwheel appearance of the contours is real. The plateau is cut by numerous canyons in a spiral pattern.
Created 21 August 2009, Last Update 20 January 2010
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