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Syrtis Major Planum is a “dark spot” located in the boundary between the northern lowlands and southern highlands of Mars. It was discovered, on the basis of data from Mars Global Surveyor, to be a low-relief shield volcano, but was formerly believed to be a plain, and was then known as Syrtis Major Planitia. The dark color comes from the basaltic volcanic rock of the region and the relative lack of dust.