Stunning Landscape Near Mamers Valles
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Stunning Landscape Near Mamers Valles
ESP_028313_2220  Science Theme: Geologic Contacts/Stratigraphy
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This region of Mars has been long studied for its evidence of glacial-like flow features. The landscape is dominated by flat top mesas and flat valley floors. But a closer look shows evidence that soil material is flowing ever so gradually from the edges of the mesas out into the valleys.

Such flow can result from excessively ice-rich deposits analogous to glaciers. "Streamlines" (curved ridges) mark the flow direction, while "flow fronts" mark where material has reached its furthest extent or where material has collided with an obstacle or otherwise bunched up.

The close up view from HiRISE reveals even stranger textures on the valley floor. Scarps and hills appear twisted like taffy, probably the result of the slow movement of the subsurface ice. Other areas that appear flat and smooth at lower resolution are expanses of extremely regular small pits and mounds at HiRISE resolution. One suggestion has been that these small-scale textures are the result of sublimation (evaporation) of subsurface ice combined with the taffy-like shifts in the ground surface.

Written by: Mike Mellon   (28 November 2012)

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Acquisition date:10 August 2012 Local Mars time: 3:23 PM
Latitude (centered):41.410° Longitude (East):14.661°
Range to target site:299.3 km (187.1 miles)Original image scale range:59.9 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~180 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:50 cm/pixel and North is upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:2.7° Phase angle:51.2°
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North azimuth:96° Sub-solar azimuth:346.5°
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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.