Layered Bedrock in the Nili Fossae Region
Layered Bedrock in the Nili Fossae Region
ESP_026570_2025  Science Theme: Sedimentary/Layering Processes
The Nili Fossae region contains some of the best exposures of ancient bedrock on Mars.

Ancient bedrock can be tilted, folded, and generally complicated and difficult to understand, but the center of this image shows a stack of nearly horizontal layers. These layers might record how the environment on ancient Mars changed over time, and would be a good site for future exploration by a rover.

The differing colors indicate different rock types of alteration. The darkest patches of ground probably consist of volcanic sand that is trapped in relative low areas. The reddest patches may be covered by dust.

Written by: Alfred McEwen  (2 May 2012)
Acquisition date
27 March 2012

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
280.6 km (174.4 miles)

Original image scale range
from 28.2 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) to 56.5 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning)

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
42°, with the Sun about 48° above the horizon

Solar longitude
89.0°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  19.0°
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   (1178MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (770MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (611MB)
non-map           (473MB)

IRB color
map projected  (340MB)
non-map           (646MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (385MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (370MB)

RGB color
non map           (665MB)
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.