Swirls of Rock in Candor Chasma
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Swirls of Rock in Candor Chasma
PSP_001984_1735  Science Theme: Sedimentary/Layering Processes

This image shows spectacular layers exposed on the bottom of Candor Chasma, which is a large canyon in the Valles Marineris system.

The floor here is approximately 4 kilometers below the canyon rim. The layers are made of sand- and dust-sized particles that were transported here by either wind or water. This canyon may have been filled to its rim by these sedimentary layers, subsequently eroded away, most likely by the wind. The elongate hills may represent areas of rock that are stronger due to differences in the size of the sedimentary particles, chemical alteration, or both.

One of the most eye-catching aspects of this scene are the intricate swirls that these layers form. Sedimentary rock generally accumulates in horizontal layers. These layers, however, have been folded into the patterns that we see today. Folding of the layers that are exposed here may have occurred due to the weight of overlying sediments.

Understanding the geologic history of this region may provide clues into the history of water on Mars, because these layers may have accumulated in shallow lakes and may have undergone chemical reactions with this water. The presence of certain kinds of chemical reactions between water and rock can release energy that could have sustained habitable oases in these areas.

Written by: Chris Okubo   (8 December 2008)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_001918_1735.

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



 
Acquisition date
29 December 2006

Local Mars time:
15:39

Latitude (centered)
-6.470°

Longitude (East)
283.075°

Range to target site
261.6 km (163.5 miles)

Original image scale range
26.2 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~79 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle:
0.8°

Phase angle:
56.1°

Solar incidence angle
57°, with the Sun about 33° above the horizon

Solar longitude
157.8°, Northern Summer

North azimuth:
97°

Sub-solar azimuth:
21.4°
JPEG
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

JP2
Black and white
map-projected   (658MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (310MB)

JP2 EXTRAS
Black and white
map-projected  (286MB)
non-map           (392MB)

IRB color
map projected  (98MB)
non-map           (301MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (160MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (163MB)

RGB color
non map           (283MB)
ANAGLYPHS
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

DIGITAL TERRAIN MODEL (DTM)
DTM details page

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products
HiView

NB
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



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:
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.