Megabreccia in Toro Crater
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Megabreccia in Toro Crater
PSP_007767_1970  Science Theme: Composition and Photometry


800  1024
1152  1280
1440  1600
1920  2048
4K  8K


PDF, 11 x 17 in
This false color image covers the western half of the central peak of Toro Crater, a 42 kilometer diameter crater in Syrtis Major.

The cutout shows a close-up of one of the features that make Toro Crater a great target for HiRISE images: colorful patches of megabreccia. Breccia is a mixture of chunks of rock (clasts) that have been broken by an energetic geologic event, such as a landslide or crater-forming impact, that are then cemented together in a finer grained material. Megabreccia features very large clasts that are big enough for HiRISE to see on the surface - some even larger than 30 feet across. In this 200 meter (about 1/8 of a mile) diameter exposure of megabreccia, clasts of various colors (indicating different kinds of rocks) and sizes have been exposed in the uplifted central peak of Toro Crater.

Scientists think that megabreccia may have formed early in Mars’ history during a period of frequent impact crater formation. These early rocks were then covered by younger rock layers. HiRISE frequently targets the central peaks of craters, because these features tend to bring up rocks like these megabreccia that are usually buried under the surface.

So far, HiRISE has found megabreccia in more than a hundred places on Mars. In many of these locations, CRISM has identified clays in the material cementing the clasts together, providing yet another motivation for the study of megabreccia.

Written by: Nicole Baugh  (20 January 2010)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_009270_1970.
twitter  •  facebook  •  google+  •  tumblr
Acquisition date
23 March 2008

Local Mars time:

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Range to target site
280.4 km (175.3 miles)

Original image scale range
28.1 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~84 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
49.0°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  14.6°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (856MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (385MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (431MB)
non-map           (426MB)

IRB color
map projected  (140MB)
non-map           (342MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (217MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (206MB)

RGB color
non map           (336MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

All of the images produced by HiRISE and accessible on this site are within the public domain: there are no restrictions on their usage by anyone in the public, including news or science organizations. We do ask for a credit line where possible:
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

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. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.