Compositionally Diverse Bedrock
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Compositionally Diverse Bedrock
ESP_029234_2015  Science Theme: Composition and Photometry
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Regolith, particulate fragmented rock and fine grained soils, generally covers most of the surface of Mars. Mantles of rocky dust often mute the landscape, filling in topographic lows and burying boulders. Sorted sand-sized soil grains are often evident in images in the form of sand dunes and ripples.

Clean exposures of bedrock are relatively rare. Fractured basement rock is sometimes visible between dunes. Sedimentary layers can also become eroded showing alternating bands, these visible bands manifesting from changes in rock strength between layers.The edges of scarps may also exhibit significant strength against erosion or large blocks and boulders at the base of the scarps. All of these examples are visible within this geologically rich image.

The abundance of rock exposures and relative scarcity of a obscuring soil layer make this region a good location to examine the compositional diversity of the parent bedrock.

Written by: Mike Mellon (audio by Tre Gibbs)   (7 November 2012)



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Acquisition date:21 October 2012 Local Mars time: 3:32 PM
Latitude (centered):21.208° Longitude (East):72.902°
Range to target site:280.4 km (175.3 miles)Original image scale range:56.1 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~168 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:50 cm/pixel and North is upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:4.8° Phase angle:63.1°
Solar incidence angle:58°, with the Sun about 32° above the horizon Solar longitude:192.5°, Northern Autumn
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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.