Eastern Valles Marineris Bedrock Stratigraphy and Falling Dunes
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Eastern Valles Marineris Bedrock Stratigraphy and Falling Dunes
PSP_010277_1650  Science Theme: Geologic Contacts/Stratigraphy
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This image shows a transect of approximately 8-kilometers of Coprates Chasma wall stratigraphy, which includes (moving down sequence): the southern plateau, wall spurs, fans of eroded material, gullies, sand dunes, and canyon floor.

Dunes located in the center left show slip faces on the downhill side and aligned with the local gradient, indicating down slope transport (see subimage, white arrow). These “falling dunes” are a type of topographically-controlled sand dune that formed when down-slope winds were focused by the gully topography. Although rare across Mars, eastern Coprates Chasma has an abundance of these falling dunes, particularly on north-facing walls.

As with all dunes, wind regime, sediment supply, topography, and climate are all important factors in where dunes form and persist. An abundant sand supply from local wall layer and persistent down-slope winds are likely contributors to why these dunes are so common here.

Note: the above image (and the subimage) are non map-projected, so north is approximately down).

Also take a look at the digital terrain map made with this image pair.

Written by: Matthew Chojnacki   (22 May 2013)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_010699_1650.

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Acquisition date
05 October 2008

Local Mars time:
15:42

Latitude (centered)
-14.693°

Longitude (East)
302.410°

Range to target site
264.5 km (165.3 miles)

Original image scale range
52.9 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~159 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle:
8.8°

Phase angle:
56.3°

Solar incidence angle
63°, with the Sun about 27° above the horizon

Solar longitude
137.1°, Northern Summer

North azimuth:
97°

Sub-solar azimuth:
34.7°
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non-map           (164MB)

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ANAGLYPHS
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DIGITAL TERRAIN MODEL (DTM)
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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
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USAGE POLICY
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



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.