Slab of Layered Material in Aureum Chaos
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Slab of Layered Material in Aureum Chaos
PSP_007006_1765  Science Theme: Sedimentary/Layering Processes


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This image shows a large outcrop of layered rock in Aureum Chaos, an area that has apparently collapsed, leaving a region of irregular knobs and hills. Unlike many of the knobs, the light outcrop shows distinct, nearly horizontal layers. This may indicate that it was deposited after the collapse of the Chaos.

Multiple layers are exposed in the outcrop, which is several kilometers long. The best exposures, in the north wall, reveal multiple different rock units with different color and texture. The bottom unit is very light-toned and shows little internal structure other than occasional fractures. Above this is a darker unit with a broken appearance, followed by fine, stepped layers. The top of the outcrop consists of knobs and spires that may be eroded remnants of the top of the stack. Many of the units show variations in color which could indicate further divisions.

This package of rocks may have been deposited by multiple processes. Alternatively, the same process could have delivered sediments from different sources. Some possible origins include dust or volcanic ash settling from the atmosphere, wind-blown sand, or material deposited in lakes.

Written by: Colin Dundas   (3 April 2008)

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Acquisition date
24 January 2008

Local Mars time:

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Range to target site
271.5 km (169.7 miles)

Original image scale range
27.2 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

Emission angle:

Phase angle:

Solar incidence angle
42°, with the Sun about 48° above the horizon

Solar longitude
22.1°, Northern Spring

North azimuth:

Sub-solar azimuth:
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