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:

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

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 up

Map projection

Emission angle:

Phase angle:

Solar incidence angle
51°, with the Sun about 39° above the horizon

Solar longitude
46.1°, Northern Spring

North azimuth:

Sub-solar azimuth:
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (845MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (494MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (377MB)
non-map           (377MB)

IRB color
map projected  (133MB)
non-map           (322MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (225MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (213MB)

RGB color
non map           (314MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

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

IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

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

For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: 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.