Fluvial Fan on a Crater Floor
Fluvial Fan on a Crater Floor
ESP_024887_2155  Science Theme: Fluvial Processes
This observation shows a terrific fan-shaped deposit, beginning where the channel enters a crater. This is suggestive of a delta: a deposit that forms when water in a channel flows into a larger area (such as an ocean or a lake). As the water spreads out, it moves slower and drops the sediment that it is carrying, forming the delta. (E.g., a famous Earth example is the Nile River delta.)

The THEMIS instrument also photographed this area (I03235002), as well as the Context Camera (CTX) aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The resolution of HiRISE helps scientists determine the topography of the region which is needed for establishing the stratigraphic relations and flow direction of the area.

Here is a view of the terrain to the south of the craters in the full image.

This caption is based on the original science rationale.

Written by: HiRISE Science Team  (3 January 2012)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_025309_2155.
Acquisition date
17 November 2011

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
292.4 km (181.7 miles)

Original image scale range
29.6 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~89 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

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Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
41°, with the Sun about 49° above the horizon

Solar longitude
31.0°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  341.3°
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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.