Phil Stooke wrote: Maybe Goddard (just south of this image) is another smaller vent... have we stumbled on a field of small volcanoes?
Yes I do think Goddard are another feature of the same kind, and in images from MGS there seems to be yet another fourth one also - I have to give a good look of new hirise imagery for this area.
But the idea that ground ice have been found here at one point would not suprise me the slightest, theres some parts in the area that look eerily similar to places I know of on Earth which have been grinded by not only one but several ice ages.
As for Julius question, there are already one alternative theory for the creation of the hematite in Meridiani also. Personally I dont think it will stand up expecially well, blueberries found there originates in the bedrock which have a wet origin. (Even though many have eroded out of same bedrock)
Its good to have many competing theories though, for some it is confusing but personally I start to worry when someone claim it have to be this
way or that. Its better when you have the question 'Are we looking at this in the right way.'
We know Gusev have been wet at one point, images from orbit show that, the area have later been pelted by volcanic rocks from eruptions that happened quite some distance away and covered most but not all - we might
have seen a few samples of the rocks from the 'wet' period and one or two of those were really odd.