A Channel Cut into an Impact Crater
A Channel Cut into an Impact Crater
ESP_023825_1855  Science Theme: Volcanic Processes
This image shows an impact crater in the eastern part of Elysium Planitia. The region is a smooth plain along the equator of Mars, between the rugged Southern highlands and the Elysium volcanic rise.

The plains have been repeatedly covered by lava flows that have filled in most of the low areas, resulting in a remarkably flat region. This particular crater has been surrounded by the youngest large lava flow known on Mars, the Athabasca Valles flood lava.

The lavas have flowed into the crater, through the lowest point in its rim, forming a leveed channel. The bottom of the crater is covered with sand dunes, so it is difficult to tell how much lava poured inside this crater. What is preserved here is one step in the process that has erased many other craters in Elysium Planitia as lava filled craters and other topographic lows.

Written by: Laszlo Kestay  (14 September 2011)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_023535_1855.
Acquisition date
26 August 2011

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
273.9 km (170.2 miles)

Original image scale range
30.9 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~93 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
32°, with the Sun about 58° above the horizon

Solar longitude
351.1°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  348.0°
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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’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.