Channel in the Cerberus Palus Region
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Channel in the Cerberus Palus Region
ESP_032066_1860  Science Theme: Volcanic Processes
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This image shows the end of a small channel near Athabasca Valles on Mars. Athabasca is an example of a Martian “outflow channel,” likely carved by a massive flood of groundwater. However, it is now coated with a thin veneer of lava, following a massive volcanic eruption that flowed down the channel.

This smaller channel is also covered by the same lava flow. It might have originally been carved by water and later draped by lava that partially drained away, but it is also possible that hot, swift lava cut down into the ground. In either case, the reason a channel formed here is the ridge running across the image. Once fluid reached the top of this ridge, flow was concentrated there and carved a deeper channel.

The upstream half of the channel is visible in PSP_008265_1860.

Written by: Colin Dundas   (17 July 2013)

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Acquisition date:30 May 2013 Local Mars time: 2:05 PM
Latitude (centered):6.082° Longitude (East):155.105°
Range to target site:276.6 km (172.9 miles)Original image scale range:27.7 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~83 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:25 cm/pixel and North is upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:6.8° Phase angle:43.1°
Solar incidence angle:37°, with the Sun about 53° above the horizon Solar longitude:327.1°, Northern Winter
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North azimuth:97° Sub-solar azimuth:334.2°
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North azimuth:270°Sub solar azimuth:148°

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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.