Transient Slope Lineae Formation in a Well-Preserved Crater
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Transient Slope Lineae Formation in a Well-Preserved Crater
ESP_023184_1335  Science Theme: Mass Wasting Processes


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This enhanced color image shows what are called “recurring slope lineae” in Tivat Crater. The narrow, dark flows descend downhill (towards the upper left).

Analysis shows that the flows all end at approximately the same slope, which is similar to the angle of repose for sand. RSL are mostly found on steep rocky slopes in dark regions of Mars, such as the southern mid-latitudes, Valles Marineris near the equator, and in Acidalia Planitia on the northern plains. The appearance and growth of these features resemble seeping liquid water, but how they form remains unclear, and this research demonstrated that the RSL flows seen by HiRISE are likely moving granular material like sand and dust.

These findings indicate that present-day Mars may not have a significant volume of liquid water. The water-restricted conditions that exist on Mars would make it difficult for Earth-like life to exist near the surface of the planet.

Written by: Colin Dundas  (20 November 2017)
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Acquisition date
08 July 2011

Local Mars time:
14:22

Latitude (centered)
-45.943°

Longitude (East)
9.534°

Range to target site
256.0 km (160.0 miles)

Original image scale range
25.6 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~77 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle:
11.7°

Phase angle:
35.8°

Solar incidence angle
43°, with the Sun about 47° above the horizon

Solar longitude
324.3°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  41.3°
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non-map           (410MB)

IRB color
map projected  (98MB)
non-map           (309MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (171MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (165MB)

RGB color
non map           (313MB)
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HiView

NB
IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
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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/JPL/University of Arizona

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.