Flow Obstructions and Wakes Southeast of Elysium Planitia
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Flow Obstructions and Wakes Southeast of Elysium Planitia
PSP_003663_1775  Science Theme: Landscape Evolution
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This observation covers a portion of the Martian equatorial plains called Elysium Planitia. In this location, lava that was once flowing across the surface interacted with multiple obstructions.

The image is near the Southern margin of where these flows occurred, and it is likely that the obstructions are small hills in the underlying surface that poked up through the flow. As the flowing material moved past the obstructions, piles of rocky debris banked up on the northwestern or upstream sides while long trails or "wakes" were left on the southeastern or downstream side. Changes in the direction of the "wakes" indicate that the direction of flow altered somewhat over time, and fractures across the surface show the top of the flow was carried along as a brittle "skin."

The rough and blocky nature of the material where it piles along obstructions and other attributes suggest the flowing material was lava and was part of a much larger and relatively young (by geologic standards) flow that occurred in this part of Mars.
Written by: John Grant   (6 October 2010)

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Acquisition date
08 May 2007

Local Mars time:
15:27

Latitude (centered)
-2.509°

Longitude (East)
164.514°

Range to target site
270.4 km (169.0 miles)

Original image scale range
27.1 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~81 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle:
4.8°

Phase angle:
48.9°

Solar incidence angle
54°, with the Sun about 36° above the horizon

Solar longitude
234.2°, Northern Autumn

North azimuth:
97°

Sub-solar azimuth:
342.7°
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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.