Layers in Terby Crater
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Layers in Terby Crater
PSP_001596_1525  Science Theme: Sedimentary/Layering Processes
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This image shows a sequence of predominantly light-toned, layered, sedimentary rocks exposed by erosion on the floor of Terby Crater. Terby Crater is approximately 165 kilometers (100 miles) in diameter. It's located on the northern rim of the Hellas impact basin in the southern hemisphere of Mars.

The layered sequence is approximately 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) thick and consists of many repetitive, relatively horizontal beds. The beds appear to be laterally continuous, which means you can identify a given layer in many locations across the area.

Details in the layering seen in this HiRISE image reveal variations in the brightness of the layers and may indicate differing mineralogies. Based on the ease with which wind appears to erode these layers, they are believed to be composed mostly of fine-grained sediments. However, one or more of the beds is weathering to form meter (yard)-scale boulders that have accumulated downslope in fans of debris (see subimage). These larger boulders indicate the material in the layers may be stronger than just fine-grained sediments.

It's not clear how these layers formed, but it may have involved deposition by wind or volcanic activity. Another theory involves all or part of the Hellas Basin being filled with ice-covered lakes at one time in the past. The layers we see may have formed as material that was suspended in the water dropped down to the bottom of the lake.

Written by: Maria Banks   (16 May 2007)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_002216_1525.

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Acquisition date
28 November 2006

Local Mars time:
15:38

Latitude (centered)
-27.318°

Longitude (East)
74.283°

Range to target site
256.5 km (160.3 miles)

Original image scale range
25.7 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~77 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle:
0.3°

Phase angle:
68.1°

Solar incidence angle
68°, with the Sun about 22° above the horizon

Solar longitude
142.3°, Northern Summer

North azimuth:
97°

Sub-solar azimuth:
37.6°
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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.