Lobate Debris Apron in Deuteronilus Mensae
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Lobate Debris Apron in Deuteronilus Mensae
ESP_016959_2240  Science Theme: Glacial/Periglacial Processes


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This observation is located in the Deuteronilus Mensae region along the highland/lowland dichotomy boundary in the Northern hemisphere of Mars.

This region contains many mesas surrounded by lobate debris aprons that are thought to be ice-rich. These aprons have been interpreted as a variety of possible features including rock glaciers, ice-rich mass movements, or debris-covered glacial flows. Recent radar data from the MRO SHARAD instrument has shown them to be composed of nearly pure ice.

The full image shows the edge of one of these mesas with a lobate debris apron extending from its base. Both the mesa top and the surface of the debris apron appear covered with ice-rich mantling materials characteristic of the martian mid-latitudes and thought to have been deposited around 10 million years ago during a period of high obliquity. Ice-rich flows also extend down the side of the mesa onto the surface of the apron, as evidenced by the lobate flow near the top of the image. Several alcoves can also be seen along the mesa wall that appear to be filled with "pasted-on" mantling deposits. Similar features have been observed along the walls of Dao Vallis east of the Hellas Basin, a mid-latitude region that also contains lobate debris aprons.

Written by: Dan Berman  (31 March 2010)

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Acquisition date
09 March 2010

Local Mars time:

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Range to target site
300.4 km (187.8 miles)

Original image scale range
30.1 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~90 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

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Emission angle:

Phase angle:

Solar incidence angle
42°, with the Sun about 48° above the horizon

Solar longitude
61.9°, Northern Spring

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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.