Un-eroded rolling cratered surface, left, and how it would look like after millennia of erosion caused by rain

April 7, 2011

These two images demonstrate how, over time, rain can carve landscapes into formations that look like aspects of volcanoes. The images are computer simulation models of landform evolution by Alan Howard at the University of Virginia.

The left image shows what an un-eroded rolling cratered surface looks like. The right image shows what those same rolling craters would look like after many millennia of erosion caused by rain. Note how rain and runoff erosion can form isolated blocks of cratered highlands that may resemble volcanic mountains.

Credit: Copyright A. Howard