Northwest Ius Chasma Landslide and Dune Field
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Northwest Ius Chasma Landslide and Dune Field
ESP_026444_1720  Science Theme: 
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Landslides in Valles Marineris are truly enormous, sometimes stretching from one wall to the base of another. This 45-kilometer-long HiRISE image alone drops nearly 2 kilometers in elevation into Ius Chasma. This landslide, known as Ius Labes, would occupy the surface area of Delaware.

Here, we can see dark-toned material emanating from the landslide scarp and forming dunes and dark streaks that were carried downslope by the wind. Geologic context and compositional information from CRISM suggest this dune field was locally derived from landslide material. Other locations in this image show smaller ripples and smooth, rounded textures of the landslide, both attesting to long-lived wind transport and erosion.

This site records a long and complex geologic history of landscape evolution. This history likely includes: (1) ancient lava flows and ash fall deposits which were deposited horizontally and would eventually make what now is canyon wall material; (2) extensional forces rifted or faulted Valles Marineris; (3) mass wasting ensued where gravity forced weak and dislodged rock down into the canyon as massive landslides or smaller fans of boulders; (4) wind driven aeolian forces took small sand-sized particles to form dunes and ripples observable in this image, while also slowly eroding the landscape and modifying its shape.

Written by: Matthew Chojnacki   (10 July 2013)

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Acquisition date
18 March 2012

Local Mars time:
15:12

Latitude (centered)
-7.939°

Longitude (East)
282.072°

Range to target site
264.9 km (165.5 miles)

Original image scale range
53.0 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~159 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle:
0.1°

Phase angle:
57.3°

Solar incidence angle
57°, with the Sun about 33° above the horizon

Solar longitude
84.7°, Northern Spring

North azimuth:
97°

Sub-solar azimuth:
43.2°
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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



Postscript
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.