Gully Landforms in Aram Chaos
Gully Landforms in Aram Chaos
ESP_017528_1830  Science Theme: Sedimentary/Layering Processes
This observation shows erosional features on light-toned rocks in Aram Chaos, a crater near the equator of Mars that has been nearly filled with sedimentary rocks.

In enhanced color, the sediments are very distinctive. The rocks show a sharp change in color partway down the slope, indicating a change in the properties of the rock, probably to a different composition.

The erosional features have alcoves with aprons downslope, and in some cases have hints of channels, potentially due to abrasion by falling debris. These morphologies bear some resemblance to gullies commonly found in the mid-latitudes, which are often thought to have formed due to erosion by liquid water from melting snow. Near the equator, however, snowmelt in Mars' recent climate is less likely.

Written by: Colin Dundas  (26 May 2010)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_018596_1830.
Acquisition date
23 April 2010

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
273.7 km (170.1 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 up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
52°, with the Sun about 38° above the horizon

Solar longitude
81.3°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  36.2°
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
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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.