Research

Martian Lava Coils

NASA’s HiRISE spacecraft has sent back images of lava coils left on the surface of Mars. These features form when lava flows of different speeds move past one another; they’re essentially Kelvin-Helmholtz waves–like the ones often seen in clouds–in the lava flow that have solidified into solid rock! On Earth these coils appear about a foot wide; the Martian versions are 100 feet across. (Photo credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona; via Wired; submitted by Brian L)

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