The mountain that NASA's Curiosity rover is currently exploring when it was a lake.
Mount Sharpe, which is three miles in height and is a layered scree, is believed to have been formed by scientists billions of years ago. The deposits that formed the mountain most likely arose in the highland crater and were transported to the center of the crater.
"During wet periods, water accumulated in the lake," say NASA scientists. "Even during dry periods, an underground lake could exist in the center of the crater below the surface. Then it could reappear during the next wet periods. This alternation of lakes, rivers and deserts could represent a living environment." Later, when the crater was partially filled with sediments, erosion of previously deposited sedimentary rocks occurred, revealing an ancient lake.
During the journey of the rover south of the landing site (to the middle of the crater), he was faced with evidence of lake sediments, which were excavated by erosion. These layers are part of the Murray Formation in the lower region of Mount Sharp.