Northwest Ius Chasma Landslide and Dune Field
Northwest Ius Chasma Landslide and Dune Field
ESP_026444_1720  Science Theme: 
Landslides in Valles Marineris are truly enormous, sometimes stretching from one wall to the base of another. This 45-kilometer-long HiRISE image alone drops nearly two kilometers in elevation into Ius Chasma. This landslide, known as Ius Labes, would occupy the surface area of Delaware.

Here, we can see dark-toned material emanating from the landslide scarp and forming dunes and dark streaks that were carried downslope by the wind. Geologic context and compositional information from CRISM suggest this dune field was locally derived from landslide material. Other locations in this image show smaller ripples and smooth, rounded textures of the landslide, both attesting to long-lived wind transport and erosion.

This site records a long and complex geologic history of landscape evolution. This history likely includes: (1) ancient lava flows and ash fall deposits which were deposited horizontally and would eventually make what now is canyon wall material; (2) extensional forces rifted or faulted Valles Marineris; (3) mass wasting ensued where gravity forced weak and dislodged rock down into the canyon as massive landslides or smaller fans of boulders; (4) wind driven aeolian (wind) forces took small sand-sized particles to form dunes and ripples observable in this image, while also slowly eroding the landscape and modifying its shape.

Written by: Matthew Chojnacki (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (10 July 2013)
Acquisition date
18 March 2012

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
264.9 km (164.6 miles)

Original image scale range
53.0 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~159 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
57°, with the Sun about 33° above the horizon

Solar longitude
84.7°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  43.2°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (568MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (338MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (301MB)
non-map           (294MB)

IRB color
map projected  (126MB)
non-map           (343MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (607MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (557MB)

RGB color
non map           (318MB)
10K (TIFF)

B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

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.