Craters and Valleys in the Elysium Fossae
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Craters and Valleys in the Elysium Fossae
PSP_004046_2080  Science Theme: Hydrothermal Processes
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This HiRISE image covers a small portion of the Elysium Fossae fracture system extending to the northeast from the giant Elysium Mons volcano.

The relative roles of tectonics (motion along faults), volcanism, and water remain puzzling. The large crater just north of the center of the HiRISE image appears to have formed by collapse, not by a meteorite impact. Had it been an impact crater, we would see a blanket of material (ejecta) that had been thrown out of the crater.

In general, this image demonstrates that this area has a similar stack of materials as other parts of the giant volcanoes on Mars. The deepest exposed material appears to be a stack of lava flows that produce thick layers that shed boulders. Above is a layer of weak material, possibly wind blown dust. Interestingly, in some areas (especially in the northern part of this image) there are thin, harder layers, more resistant to erosion, within the generally weak and easily eroded surface layer. These resistant layers seem to be too thin to be lava flows, and may indicate that some other process has hardened or cemented (indurated) portions of the weak material.

Written by: Laszlo Kestay   (27 June 2007)



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Acquisition date:07 June 2007 Local Mars time: 2:59 PM
Latitude (centered):27.490° Longitude (East):143.206°
Range to target site:289.6 km (181.0 miles)Original image scale range:29.0 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~87 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:25 cm/pixel and North is upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:9.3° Phase angle:74.9°
Solar incidence angle:67°, with the Sun about 23° above the horizon Solar longitude:253.1°, Northern Autumn
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North azimuth:97° Sub-solar azimuth:319.9°
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North azimuth:270°Sub solar azimuth:134.9°

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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.