Between February 28 and March 9, 2023, NASA‘s Perseverance Mars rover- using its Mastcam-Z camera- captured the bands of rocks at a location called ‘Sprinkle Haven.’ According to scientists, these bands of rocks may have formed by a very fast, deep river- the first of its kind evidence has been found on Mars.
The mosaic consists of 203 images transmitted back from Mars and then pieced together.
The best illustration of these curved rock layers, referred to as “the curvilinear unit,” is provided by Sprinkle Haven, which was previously only visible from space. Scientists are currently disputing whether a river like the Mississippi, which winds like a snake across the terrain or a braided river like Nebraska’s Platte, which generates little islands of silt known as sandbars, produced those curves.
The curved layers are arranged in rows when seen from the ground, giving the impression that the landscape is rippled. They might be the remains of sandbars that arose in the river or the remains of river banks that moved through time. The layers were likely much taller in the past; experts believe that when these sand-filled mounds of silt converted to rock, they were carved down to their present size throughout eons by the wind.