Diverse Layers and Mineralogy near Mawrth Vallis
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Diverse Layers and Mineralogy near Mawrth Vallis
ESP_024055_2045  Science Theme: Geologic Contacts/Stratigraphy
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This HiRISE image shows diverse layers in a region near Mawrth Vallis, a channel that was probably carved by water in Mars' ancient past. The color subimage shows details of layers exposed in a crater wall.

Tannish to white tones are apparent, which may be reflective of differences in mineralogy. CRISM, a spectrometer on MRO, has detected clays in Mawrth, so the layers here may be clay-rich.

Clays contain water, indicating that this region may have been wet in the past. The subimage also shows polygonal-like textures on some of the layered rock. These may be dessication polygons formed when the wet clays dried. The dark patches on the layers are sand dunes.

Written by: Nathan Bridges   (26 October 2011)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_024200_2045.

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Acquisition date:13 September 2011 Local Mars time: 2:17 PM
Latitude (centered):24.453° Longitude (East):341.200°
Range to target site:297.9 km (186.2 miles)Original image scale range:59.6 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~179 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:50 cm/pixel and North is upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:16.5° Phase angle:27.2°
Solar incidence angle:41°, with the Sun about 49° above the horizon Solar longitude:0.1°, Northern Spring
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North azimuth:96° Sub-solar azimuth:333.4°
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North azimuth:270°Sub solar azimuth:149.7°

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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.