Lava-Carved Gullies in a Crater
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Lava-Carved Gullies in a Crater
ESP_028321_1785  Science Theme: Volcanic Processes
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This image shows an impact crater about 3-kilometer (1.8 miles) wide in a region that has been flooded by lava.

The lava has overtopped the rim in at least two areas, to the southwest and northwest, and created a pond of lava on the crater floor. Where it flowed down the steep crater slope it carved gullies. There are similar gullies on steep crater slopes on the Moon, but probably carved by impact melt rather than lava. Dark streaks seen elsewhere on the crater slopes are from dust avalanches.

On the plains outside the crater there are distinctive landforms that form from lava inflation, where molten lava is injected under a solid crust to raise the surface. Only lava behaves in this manner, not mud or other fluids that might have been present on Mars.

Written by: Alfred McEwen (audio by Tre Gibbs)   (14 November 2012)



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Acquisition date:11 August 2012 Local Mars time: 3:33 PM
Latitude (centered):-1.258° Longitude (East):161.856°
Range to target site:270.3 km (168.9 miles)Original image scale range:27.0 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~81 cm across are resolved
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Emission angle:3.6° Phase angle:51.0°
Solar incidence angle:54°, with the Sun about 36° above the horizon Solar longitude:153.3°, Northern Summer
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North azimuth:97° Sub-solar azimuth:19.7°
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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.