Inverted Channels in Colorful Kasimov Crater
Inverted Channels in Colorful Kasimov Crater
ESP_030609_1550  Science Theme: Fluvial Processes
Enhanced color images, such as this 1-kilometer wide (two-thirds of a mile) sample, can help us distinguish between materials of different composition.

The image shows a bluish ridge that runs from bottom center to upper left. The ridge is joined by smaller one in the middle of the image like small tributary rivers join together with larger ones on Earth. Indeed, this is exactly what happened here on Mars billions of years ago.

These ridges are called “inverted channels” and mark the locations of ancient Martian river beds (in this case the river flowed towards the upper left of the image). They form because the bottoms of these rivers tend to be full of gravel-sized rocks, whereas the area around the river is made of fine clays. Long after the river stops flowing the wind slowly removes the clays, but can’t blow away the gravel. After all the clays are gone, the old river bed gets left as a high-standing gravel ridge such as visible here.

Written by: Shane Byrne (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (20 February 2013)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_022829_1550.
Acquisition date
05 February 2013

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
258.3 km (160.5 miles)

Original image scale range
52.6 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~158 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

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

Solar longitude
258.8°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  355.7°
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   (179MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (100MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (79MB)
non-map           (103MB)

IRB color
map projected  (30MB)
non-map           (105MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (201MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (184MB)

RGB color
non map           (98MB)
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.