Repeated Erosion and Deposition in the South Polar Layered Deposits
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Repeated Erosion and Deposition in the South Polar Layered Deposits
PSP_005788_1035  Science Theme: Polar Geology


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This image of the south polar layered deposits (SPLD) shows evidence of multiple episodes of deposition and erosion near the base of those deposits.

The SPLD, like the north polar layered deposits, are thought to contain a record of global climate changes on Mars. The surface of the outcrop shown here slopes generally toward the right. The layering at the bottom of the image is cut off by deposits that partly fill two broad valleys that were previously cut into the SPLD, probably by wind erosion. These more recent deposits appear to cover the flatter, upper part of the SPLD at left, and have also been eroded to expose layering with them.Written by: Ken Herkenhoff   (3 January 2008)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_005524_1035.

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Acquisition date
21 October 2007

Local Mars time:

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Range to target site
268.3 km (167.7 miles)

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

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25 cm/pixel

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Solar incidence angle
71°, with the Sun about 19° above the horizon

Solar longitude
334.4°, Northern Winter

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NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

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.