Ice Deposition and Loss in an Impact Crater in Utopia Basin
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Ice Deposition and Loss in an Impact Crater in Utopia Basin
ESP_032569_2225  Science Theme: Sedimentary/Layering Processes
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This image spans from wall to wall across the center area of an impact crater. From what we see, a lot has happened to modify the appearance of the crater since it was formed, and this subsequent activity is the main interest of this observation.

First, the crater is no longer deep and bowl like: it is shallow and generally flat across its interior, indicating it has been filled with material. The small-scale relief features of this filled surface give clues as to what has happened. The parallel wavy ridges suggest that the material was able to move and flow, perhaps in several successive stages, and likely due to the presence of ice in the ground.

The fine scale pits and larger scale depressions suggest that more recently some of this ice may have disappeared by sublimating (changing from a solid directly to a gas) into the atmosphere, therefore deflating the surface. This story of deposition and loss of ice-rich material, possibly occurring over several cycles over the recent part of Mars' history (or longer, and possibly continuing today), is consistent with similar features in the broader region of the Utopia Basin.

Written by: Patrick Russell   (24 July 2013)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_033004_2225.

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Acquisition date
08 July 2013

Local Mars time:
14:05

Latitude (centered)
42.214°

Longitude (East)
98.145°

Range to target site
299.5 km (187.2 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 up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle:
5.6°

Phase angle:
51.5°

Solar incidence angle
55°, with the Sun about 35° above the horizon

Solar longitude
348.2°, Northern Winter

North azimuth:
96°

Sub-solar azimuth:
315.1°
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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.