Lobate debris apron in Phlegra Montes, as seen by HiRISE. Scale bar is 500 meters long.

Lobate debris apron in Phlegra Montes, as seen by HiRISE. Scale bar is 500 meters long.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Lobate debris aprons, or LDA, are features on Mars that give clues as to how material moves from rocky cliffs and past glaciers. 

Let's take a look at the word, piece by piece:

Lobate- the material falling from the cliffs and glaciers leave tongue-like lobes

Debris-the type of material is thought to be a mixture of water ice and rock. 

Aprons-the material skirts around the cliff or glacier

These features were actually first discovered by the Viking orbiter. The cool part is that shallow radar onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter had detected that these aprons are mainly made from water ice, causing a slippery friction to slide down the cliff faces.

Detecting these features have become more popular as the detection of water ice associated with these LDAs may prove resourceful for future astronauts. 

 Wide view of mesa with surrounding lobate debris apron, as seen by CTX and HiRISE. Location is the Ismenius Lacus quadrangle.

Wide view of mesa with surrounding lobate debris apron, as seen by CTX and HiRISE. Location is the Ismenius Lacus quadrangle.

Thank you for reading and come back next week for a look at tectonics on Venus!