posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 03:18 PM
First, if your scale on the image is correct (and I have no reason to believe that it is not), then I agree, the width is not in agreement with
terrestrial plateaus, buttes, or mesas. However, because environmental and atmospheric conditions are different on Mars, erosion probably occurs
differently and may very well generate features of different widths and morphologies. Therefore, this hypothesis cannot be completely disregarded
because of the scale of these features, but it is severely weakened.
Secondly, I still believe it is possible to arrive at the general height of the "monolith" using geometry with a few simple but intelligent
approximations. For example, we can easily bracket what the angle of the ground beneath the monolith must be. The angle of the slope of the ground
that the monolith is sitting on is somewhere between 0 and 35 degrees. That may seem like a wide distribution, and in reality it really is, but it
does allow us to impose some restrictions so that we can perform these important calculations. Discerning the slope of the monolith, however, is a
more difficult task, because it requires visually approximating the angle from a bird's-eye-view perspect, a approach that is highly suspect and
prone to error. On the other hand, if we assume that this monolith is perfectly vertical, we can complete our calculations and develop a "ball park"
figure for the height of the feature. Will it be 100% correct? Absolutely not. But it will give us an idea as to what the general height of this
monolith may be.
Third, disregarding its width, what exactly about the way it looks precludes it from being a butte-like feature? Also, what about its surroundings
suggests that this hypothesis is incorrect? I understand that it looks like it is a surprisingly anomalous feature completely surrounded by
unremarkable, flat Martian soil, but the surface is probably much more irregular than the picture suggests, and this monolith, in reality, does not
stand in quite as much contrast as one may think.