Cerberus Fossae East of the Head of Athabasca Valles
NASA/JPL/UArizona
Cerberus Fossae East of the Head of Athabasca Valles
ESP_016216_1900  Science Theme: Volcanic Processes
This image shows part of Cerberus Fossae, a long system of extensional (normal) faults arranged in trough-bounding (graben-bounding) pairs. Cerberus Fossae served as the source of a large volcanic eruption that draped Athabasca Valles in lava.

Large boulders that have been dislodged from the graben walls are visible on the floor of Cerberus Fossae. The first subimage shows an example of an approximately 6 meter (20 feet) boulder that left a distinct track as it moved downhill. Although this track is quite clear, ripples inside the track are discernable, indicating that enough time has passed for wind activity to rework loose material into the form of ripples. With close examination of this observation, one can see many boulder tracks, some with ripples and some without ripples.

Wind streaks emanating from impact craters are visible on the plains surrounding Cerberus Fossae. The second subimage shows a false color image of an approximately 33 meters (108 feet) impact crater. Material on the crater floor (blue in the color image) is being moved by the wind out of the crater and across the plains. The wind streaks in this observation indicate that the predominant wind direction in this region is from East to West.


Written by: Anjani Polit  (10 March 2010)
 
Acquisition date
11 January 2010

Local Mars time
14:49

Latitude (centered)
9.874°

Longitude (East)
158.257°

Spacecraft altitude
275.5 km (171.2 miles)

Original image scale range
27.9 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~84 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle
9.0°

Phase angle
33.1°

Solar incidence angle
42°, with the Sun about 48° above the horizon

Solar longitude
36.2°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  16.3°
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POSTSCRIPT
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.