Faults in Ius Chasma
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Faults in Ius Chasma
ESP_025020_1720  Science Theme: Tectonic Processes
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Ius Chasma is one of many steep-sided interconnected depressions (chasmata) that comprise Valles Marineris, the largest canyon system in the Solar System.

The chasma is approximately 900 kilometers long and is located in western Valles Marineris. The floor of Ius Chasma is between 8 to 10 kilometers deep and is divided by a prominent east-west trending ridge known as Geryon Montes.

The region in this image is located (approximately 7.8 degrees South, 279.5 degrees East) on the floor of Ius Chasma. A variety of light and medium-toned terrains and layered units of different rock types comprise the chasma floor. Prominent faults of various sizes have displaced and deformed these layered units and outcrops, some in a spectacular fashion.

The ejecta of small fresh-appearing impact craters formed in the light-toned units reveal the existence of a darker (likely basaltic) underlying substrate. Linear dunes are located on top of the lighter-tone outcropping units and are ubiquitous on the chasma floor. These dunes are oriented in a north-south direction and indicate prevailing westerly winds through the canyon.

Written by: Ginny Gulick   (14 December 2011)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_024954_1720.

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Acquisition date
28 November 2011

Local Mars time:

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Range to target site
278.7 km (174.2 miles)

Original image scale range
27.9 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~84 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
48°, with the Sun about 42° above the horizon

Solar longitude
35.8°, Northern Spring

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Sub-solar azimuth:
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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:
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

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.