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Tectonic & fluvial activity shaped the landscape

The HRSC observation presented here shows the eastern flank of Coprates rise, containing tectonic features of the Nectaris Fossae fractures, as well as fluvial valleys Protova Valles. The topography is indicative of extensive reworking by tectonism and subsequent incision by valley networks. Some landforms on the surface are evidence of lava flows. Numerous wrinkle ridges can be spotted (see annotated image and overview map).

The formation of the Nectaris fossae began sometime in the Noachian and may have continued into the Late Hesperian period. It is believed to have a genetic relationship to the Valles Marineris System. In this HRSC observation, the fractures almost vertically cut through the image and are often filled with light toned dust.

The Protva Valles valley network is considerably degraded and was dated to the Late Noachian/Early Hesperian period, a time when much more water was available as runoff and could shape the surface by erosion.