Artynia Catena
Artynia Catena
ESP_023597_2260  Science Theme: Tectonic Processes
This observation shows an impressive chain of pits along the southernmost tip of the chain in Artynia Catena, located on the northwestern flank of the volcano, Alba Patera.

These pits form in fracture along its southern most extent. The fracture is part of a larger fracture system that is radial to the volcano and suggests that it is related to the formation of the volcano. Therefore, this chain of pits may have formed from the withdrawal of subsurface magma and subsequent partial collapse of the overlying material into the fracture.

Another explanation may be that subsurface water/ice may have preferentially formed along these fractures and subsequent removal of ice-rich material by sublimation resulted in partial collapse of surface materials forming the pit chain.

Written by: Ginny Gulick  (11 October 2011)
Acquisition date
09 August 2011

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
296.2 km (184.1 miles)

Original image scale range
59.3 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~178 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
60°, with the Sun about 30° above the horizon

Solar longitude
341.8°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  310.6°
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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.