Terraced Craters and Layered Targets
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Terraced Craters and Layered Targets
ESP_033014_2260  Science Theme: Impact Processes
Icelandic  Italian  Spanish  Turkish 


720p (MP4)  
Listen to the text  


800  1024  
1152  1280  
1440  1600  
1920  2048  
2560  2880  


PDF, 11 x 17 in  


Small impact craters usually have simple bowl shapes; however, when the target material has different layers of different strength, then more complicated crater shapes can emerge.

The most common situation is a weaker layer overlying a stronger one. In that case, these craters usually have a terrace on their inner walls where the crater abruptly becomes smaller at the depth where this change in material occurs.

In this image of Arcadia Planitia, we can see one of these terraced craters. In fact, there are two distinct terraces implying at least three distinct layers in this target. Images like this help scientists probe the near subsurface of Mars. In this case, the different material strengths are probably caused by layers of ice (weak) and rock (strong).

Written by: Shane Byrne (audio by Tre Gibbs)   (12 September 2013)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_034082_2260.

Click to share this post on Twitter Click to share this post on Facebook Click to share this post on Google+ Click to share this post on Tumblr

 Image Products: All image links are drag & drop for HiView, or click to download
B&W: map projected  non-map

IRB color: map projected  non-map

Merged IRB: map projected

Merged RGB: map projected

RGB color: non-map projected

B&W: map-projected (441MB)

IRB color: map-projected (220MB)
B&W: map-projected  (170MB),
non-map  (214MB)

IRB color: map projected  (49MB)
non-map  (166MB)

Merged IRB: map projected  (130MB)

Merged RGB: map-projected  (127MB)

RGB color: non map-projected  (159MB)
Map-projected reduced-resolution (PNG)
Full resolution JP2 download
View anaglyph details page

DTM details page

B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

About color products (PDF)
HiView main page

 Observation Toolbox
Acquisition date:11 August 2013 Local Mars time:14:16
Latitude (centered):45.648° Longitude (East):188.604°
Range to target site:307.6 km (192.3 miles)Original image scale range:30.8 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~92 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:25 cm/pixel and North is upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:8.7° Phase angle:46.2°
Solar incidence angle:53°, with the Sun about 37° above the horizon Solar longitude:5.6°, Northern Spring

Context map

Usage Policy
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: Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
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.