Mesas in Aureum Chaos
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Mesas in Aureum Chaos
ESP_016869_1775  Science Theme: Volcanic Processes
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This image reveals the meter-scale surface textures of mesas and knobs in the Aureum Chaos region of Mars.

Aureum Chaos is a wide region of plateaus, mesas, and knobs. Most of the rocks in this area appear to have formed originally as laterally continuous layers through volcanic or sedimentary processes. Loss of groundwater or ground ice could have then caused the ground to collapse, forming the network of deep valleys and isolated hills we see today. Subtle layering of these rocks can be observed along many slope faces jutting out from under a mantle of surface sediments.

Also present along many slopes are dark-toned, discontinuous lineations. These are tracks left behind by boulders that rolled down the slopes. These boulders are often located at the down hill end of the tracks.

Written by: Chris Okubo   (31 March 2010)



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Acquisition date:02 March 2010 Local Mars time: 3:05 PM
Latitude (centered):-2.454° Longitude (East):332.154°
Range to target site:268.9 km (168.0 miles)Original image scale range:26.9 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~81 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:25 cm/pixel and North is upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:3.0° Phase angle:48.9°
Solar incidence angle:51°, with the Sun about 39° above the horizon Solar longitude:58.8°, Northern Spring
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North azimuth:97° Sub-solar azimuth:35.6°
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North azimuth:270°Sub solar azimuth:210.1°

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All of the images produced by HiRISE and accessible on this site are within the public domain: there are no restrictions on their usage by anyone in the public, including news or science organizations. We do ask for a credit line where possible: Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
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For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: http://www.nasa.gov. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona. The image data were processed using the U.S. Geological Survey’s ISIS3 software.