What Is It?
What Is It?
ESP_027912_1770  Science Theme: 
This image reveals some very curious topography. There is an elevated mesa (plateau) with lobate margins and a patterned surface, connected to a shallow depression in the east, on the right-hand side of the map-projected image. The image is in southern Elysium Planitia, location of the youngest extensive lava plains on Mars.

Typical lava flows in this region are quite thin, like those in the shallow depression, but this mesa may be a much thicker flow. Some lava flows are thick because the lava has a different composition and is more viscous (less runny), but even very fluid lava compositions can produce thick flows when there are many solid crystals in the flowing lava.

Alternatively, this lava flow may have been inflated (pushed up) to an unusual degree by lava injections beneath a solid crust. Another possibility is that erosion has modified the topography. The Context Camera image of this area shows that this is part of a suite of interesting landforms.

Be sure to look at the stereo anaglyph.

Written by: Alfred McEwen  (17 October 2012)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_028611_1770.
Acquisition date
10 July 2012

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
269.7 km (167.6 miles)

Original image scale range
27.2 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~82 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
55°, with the Sun about 35° above the horizon

Solar longitude
137.2°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  28.2°
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   (480MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (265MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (229MB)
non-map           (246MB)

IRB color
map projected  (80MB)
non-map           (223MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (136MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (131MB)

RGB color
non map           (219MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

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.