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Surface of Mars coloured by height

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surface height key, blue low, yellow average, white high.

The Mars Global Surveyor and MOLA Missions to Mars have provided accurate maps of the Martian surface. The major features of Mars can be seen clearly above. It has a great range in height.

The northern lowlands are low-lying basins and plains with a gentle regional slope down to the north pole. The southern regions of Mars are called the ancient highlands (with a higher number of impact craters). The split between these two parts of Mars is called the crustal dichotomy. The third major regional feature on Mars is an enormous bulge called Tharsis. This volcanic area contains Olympus Mons (at 21 km high the largest volcano in the solar system).

On the version of this image in the main Mars and Martian Meteorites website you can click on the squares on the globe to view selected areas: Olympus Mons, Kasei Vallis, Coprates Chasma in Valles Marineris, Isidis Planitia (the Beagle 2 landing site) and part of the ancient highlands which contains geologically recent gullies.