Exposed Layers in Central Valles Marineris
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Exposed Layers in Central Valles Marineris
PSP_004858_1670  Science Theme: Volcanic Processes

This observation shows a landslide scarp on the northern wall of central Valles Marineris, a large canyon system equivalent in length from California to New York.

The landslide has exposed a fresh wall of the canyon so that individual layers of rock can be seen. The texture of these layers suggests that some of the darker rock layers are more resistant to erosion than the lighter layers. The variation in brightness and friability of the different layers suggests compositional differences. These layers may have a volcanic origin, having been deposited as ash layers, or a sedimentary origin, either being deposited by water or blown by the wind (aeolian).

This image is a little hazy because this image was taken in August 2007, when the large dust storm covered the surface of Mars and filled the atmosphere with fine dust particles. The extra dust in the atmosphere reflects more light into the camera. Written by: Alix Davatzes   (30 August 2007)

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Acquisition date:09 August 2007 Local Mars time:14:31
Latitude (centered):-12.816° Longitude (East):301.109°
Range to target site:259.9 km (162.4 miles)Original image scale range:26.0 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~78 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:25 cm/pixel and North is upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:5.6° Phase angle:32.1°
Solar incidence angle:37°, with the Sun about 53° above the horizon Solar longitude:292.6°, Northern Winter

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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.