Light-Toned Layered Deposits on Southern Mid-Latitude Crater Floor
Light-Toned Layered Deposits on Southern Mid-Latitude Crater Floor
ESP_011310_1395  Science Theme: Sedimentary/Layering Processes
This image features the floor of a crater in the Southern highlands of Mars.

The light-toned layered deposits (LTLD) are located in the center of the image; they are exposed along the edges of the high-standing mesa. LTLD are found in many places on Mars, including impact craters and canyons near the equator. They may have been deposited by sedimentary processes involving wind and/or water.

Dunes or ripples surround the mesa. The orientation of the dunes indicates that the direction of the dominant wind at the time of the dune/ripple formation was along the troughs that surround the mesa.

The terrain near the bottom of the image has a texture that geologists call “etched.” The etched texture is a result of differential erosion as some materials being eroded more easily than others. One possible scenario is that the region was buried by a soft sedimentary deposit that is now being removed by wind erosion.

Written by: Kelly Kolb  (15 April 2009)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_011811_1395.
Acquisition date
24 December 2008

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
253.0 km (157.2 miles)

Original image scale range
25.3 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~76 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
67°, with the Sun about 23° above the horizon

Solar longitude
179.5°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  25.9°
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
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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’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.