Lineated Valley Fill and Lobate Debris Aprons in Deuteronilus Mensae
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Lineated Valley Fill and Lobate Debris Aprons in Deuteronilus Mensae
PSP_009799_2205  Science Theme: Glacial/Periglacial Processes
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This image shows lineated valley fill and lobate debris aprons in the Deuteronilus Mensae region. Deuteronilus Mensae is located on the northern edge of Arabia Terra and borders the high-standing, heavily-cratered southern hemisphere and the low, uncratered plains that cover most of the northern hemisphere of Mars. The region is characterized by hills and mesas surrounded by debris slopes and broad valleys.

Many of the valley floors in the Dueteronilus Mensae region exhibit complex alignments of small ridges and pits often called "lineated valley fill." The cause of the small-scale texture is not well understood, but may result from patterns in ice-rich soils or ice loss due to sublimation (ice changing into water vapor). The linear alignment may be caused by downhill movement of ice-rich soil or by glacial flow. For example, flowing ice on Earth typically develops wrinkles or ridges and pits due to stresses in the ice as it moves. The result is flow patterns, called "stream lines" that follow the valleys and curve around obstacles. In this image, stream lines are diverted or curve around the mesas.

The mesas in this image are also surrounded by aprons of debris that appear to have flowed away from the mesa. Recent results from the SHAllow RADar (SHARAD) instrument, another instrument onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, indicate that lobate debris aprons in Deuteronilus Mensae, similar to those visible here, are composed of material dominated by ice [Plaut et al., 2008] and are interpreted to be potential debris-covered glaciers or rock glaciers. The debris aprons in this image appear to lie on top of the lineated valley fill and are therefore probably younger deposits.

Written by: Maria Banks   (29 October 2008)

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Acquisition date
29 August 2008

Local Mars time:
15:19

Latitude (centered)
40.320°

Longitude (East)
23.790°

Range to target site
299.9 km (187.5 miles)

Original image scale range
from 30.0 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) to 60.0 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning)

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle:
6.1°

Phase angle:
52.0°

Solar incidence angle
46°, with the Sun about 44° above the horizon

Solar longitude
119.3°, Northern Summer

North azimuth:
97°

Sub-solar azimuth:
357.1°
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Postscript
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.