Angular Unconformity in Cerberus Fossae
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Angular Unconformity in Cerberus Fossae
PSP_010638_1890  Science Theme: Volcanic Processes
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This HiRISE image shows a part of the Cerberus Fossae, a long system of aligned fissures. The Cerberus Fossae were the source of the youngest major volcanic eruption on Mars that covered much of the surrounding area in lava. The region has also seen much other volcanic activity.

The walls of the fissures typically reveal lava layers. At this site, they have cut through an older hill that protrudes above the surrounding plains. The layers within the hill are tilted relative to the overlying rock, which appears to drape the region and runs continuously over the hill and plains.

This tilted contact is known as an angular unconformity. It is most likely that this formed when horizontal layers were tilted by faults before the most recent volcanic eruptions, forming the irregular hills. The hills represent relatively old rock, while the smooth plains and the thin draping cover were formed more recently.

Written by: Colin Dundas   (21 January 2009)



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Acquisition date:02 November 2008 Local Mars time: 3:40 PM
Latitude (centered):8.970° Longitude (East):162.873°
Range to target site:275.9 km (172.4 miles)Original image scale range:55.2 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~166 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:50 cm/pixel and North is upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:0.1° Phase angle:54.2°
Solar incidence angle:54°, with the Sun about 36° above the horizon Solar longitude:151.3°, Northern Summer
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North azimuth:97° Sub-solar azimuth:14.2°
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North azimuth:270°Sub solar azimuth:188.0°

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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.