Gullied Crater in the Martian Tropics
Gullied Crater in the Martian Tropics
ESP_020715_1780  Science Theme: Impact Processes
Gullies are ubiquitous on steep slopes in the middle latitudes of Mars, but there are gullies in the equatorial band as well.

The equatorial gullies, however, have not shown any hints of current activity, unlike the middle-latitude gullies that are forming and growing in the wintertime when carbon dioxide frost is present. Also, the equatorial gully fans have steeper slopes than many of those in the middle latitudes.

Equatorial gullies are especially common on the steep inner slopes of relatively recent impact craters larger than a few kilometers in diameter. These gullies may form very quickly after crater formation, when slopes are particularly unstable, and there could be melting of previously buried ice. Impact melt (melted rock, that is) could also contribute to formation of gully-like morphologies, as seen on the Moon.

Unfortunately there are gaps in the new image, data lost during transmission from Mars to Earth.

Written by: Alfred McEwen  (3 February 2011)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_014412_1780.
Acquisition date
27 December 2010

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
265.5 km (165.0 miles)

Original image scale range
27.2 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~81 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
54°, with the Sun about 36° above the horizon

Solar longitude
206.2°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  353.0°
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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.