Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Slope Lineae, Recurrent

  • Alessandro Airo
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_5089-1



Recurring slope lineae (RSL) are seasonal dark markings on steep slopes (25–40°) that appear and progressively grow throughout the warm season and subsequently fade in the cold season (McEwen et al. 2011). RSL generally originate at rocky bedrock outcrops on slopes and are frequently associated with small channels. RSL have been found between 50 and 30°S latitude on slopes facing the equator and reaching surface temperatures during summer of up to 300 K. At these temperatures, liquid brines could develop close to the surface and percolate downhill through the subsurface pore space resulting in dark surficial “water tracks” that are know from Antarctic environments (Levy 2012). However, the origin of these seasonal features on Mars remains debated.

See Also


Surface Temperature Bioorganic Chemistry Steep Slope Pore Space Warm Season 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References and Further Reading

  1. Levy J (2012) Hydrological characteristics of recurrent slope lineae on Mars: evidence for liquid flow through regolith and comparisons with Antarctic terrestrial analogs. Icarus 219:1–4CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  2. McEwen AS, Ojha L, Dundas CM, Mattson SS, Byrne S, Wray JJ, Cull SC, Murchie SL, Thomas N, Gulick VC (2011) Seasonal flows on warm Martian slopes. Science 333:740–743CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Geologische Wissenschaften Tektonik und Sedimentäre Geologie, Fachbereich GeowissenschaftenFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany