Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

Sinuous Ridge

  • Maria E. BanksEmail author
  • Jarmo Korteniemi
  • Henrik Hargitai
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_350


Elongate, positive-relief landforms that have a planform with multiple curves.


Sinuous ridges vary in their length, width, height, cross-sectional shape, degree of sinuosity, and other detailed characteristics depending on the formation mechanism. They can be up to several kilometers wide, hundreds of meters in height, and hundreds of kilometers in length (e.g., Lucchitta et al. 1986; Parker et al. 1986; Ruff and Greeley 1990; Pain et al. 2007; Burr et al. 2009).


  1. (1)

    By ridge pattern in plan view: low sinuosity to meandering ridges.

  2. (2)

    By network pattern: isolated, subparallel, branched (including dendritic, tributary, and/or distributary networks, Fig. 1), random. Some ridges form ridge complexes described as shallow moat–ridge–fan assemblages (Kite 2012) (Fig. 2a).

  3. (3)

    By ridge morphology: cross-sectional shapes are flat (floodplain with scrollbar topography), rounded, thin, wispy (short, narrow, occurring in groups), and multilevel(comprised of...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria E. Banks
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jarmo Korteniemi
    • 3
    • 4
  • Henrik Hargitai
    • 5
  1. 1.Center for Earth and Planetary StudiesSmithsonian Institution, National Air and Space MuseumWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Planetary Science InstituteTucsonUSA
  3. 3.Earth and Space Physics, Department of PhysicsUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  4. 4.Arctic Planetary Science InstituteRovaniemiFinland
  5. 5.NASA Ames Research Center/NPPMoffett FieldUSA