The name "Fossae" is used to indicate large troughs when using geographical terminology related to Mars. Troughs, sometimes also called a graben, form when the crust is stretched until it breaks, which forms two breaks with a middle section moving down, leaving steep cliffs along the sides. Sometimes, a line of pits form as materials collapse into a void that forms from the stretching. (wikipedia entry)
A fossa is a long, narrow, shallow depression. On Mars they are named after the nearest named albedo feature on the Schiaparelli or Antoniadi maps.