A Mesa on a Mesa
A Mesa on a Mesa
ESP_011648_1730  Science Theme: Geologic Contacts/Stratigraphy
This oval mesa is a remnant of a geological unit that once covered this area, similar to the mesas and buttes in Monument Valley, in Arizona and Utah. This is a small remnant of a much larger unit of similar material that caps Ganges Mensa to the west.

As can be seen in the sides of this small mesa, this remnant consists of a layered stack of rock. Prior to the massive erosion that left this a high-standing mesa, a more gentle phase of erosion created the small hills and whorls on the upper surface of the mesa. It seems that this gentle erosion continued even after the mesa was created, as this pattern of small hills and whorls is visible on the terrain surrounding the mesa.

Although not visible in the area shown in this HiRISE image, this mesa actually sits on top of the much larger Ganges Mensa, which is itself a large mesa within Ganges Chasma.

Written by: Ross Beyer  (4 March 2009)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_011582_1730.
Acquisition date
20 January 2009

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
267.6 km (166.3 miles)

Original image scale range
27.8 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~83 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
59°, with the Sun about 31° above the horizon

Solar longitude
194.6°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  2.5°
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   (864MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (346MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (384MB)
non-map           (450MB)

IRB color
map projected  (132MB)
non-map           (328MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (199MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (192MB)

RGB color
non map           (315MB)
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’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.