Solid bodies have their surfaces affected by geologic processes. By studying the current state of a planetary surface and applying our terrestrial experience of what features are associated with the different geologic processes, planetary geologists disentangle information about the geologic and thermal evolution of the body in question.
Geologic processes are divided into internal and external processes. Internal processes originate from within the body and include volcanism, tectonics, and mass wasting (caused by the planet' s gravity). External processes originate outside of the planet's interior and include impact cratering, eolian (wind-blown), fluvial, and glacial processes. All of these processes have operated on Mars to varying extents.
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