Recent Volcanism in Valles Marineris
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Recent Volcanism in Valles Marineris
ESP_034131_1670  Science Theme: Volcanic Processes


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The possibility of recent volcanism inside Valles Marineris was first proposed decades ago based on Viking orbiter images, but the candidate volcanoes proved to be other features such as complex sand dunes when we studied them with higher-resolution images.

However, this image shows cones with summit pits that are very similar to cinder cones on Earth. They are also very well-preserved, peppered by only small impact craters, so they must be geologically young (perhaps less than a few hundred million years).

These features were first seen in Context Camera image D01_027538_1674_XN_12S062W and a HiRISE target was suggested by a member of that team using HiWish. The cones might look like craters in single images, but if you look at the stereo anaglyph, you’ll see the cones stick up and are clearly not the same shape as impact craters.

Written by: Alfred McEwen (audio by Tre Gibbs)   (15 January 2014)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_033986_1670.



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Acquisition date:07 November 2013 Local Mars time: 2:47 PM
Latitude (centered):-12.740° Longitude (East):297.194°
Range to target site:297.7 km (186.1 miles)Original image scale range:29.8 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~89 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:25 cm/pixel and North is upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:27.9° Phase angle:73.9°
Solar incidence angle:51°, with the Sun about 39° above the horizon Solar longitude:46.1°, Northern Spring
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North azimuth:96° Sub-solar azimuth:44.7°
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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.