Channel in the Cerberus Palus Region
Channel in the Cerberus Palus Region
ESP_032066_1860  Science Theme: Volcanic Processes
This image shows the end of a small channel near Athabasca Valles on Mars. Athabasca is an example of a Martian “outflow channel,” likely carved by a massive flood of groundwater. However, it is now coated with a thin veneer of lava, following a massive volcanic eruption that flowed down the channel.

This smaller channel is also covered by the same lava flow. It might have originally been carved by water and later draped by lava that partially drained away, but it is also possible that hot, swift lava cut down into the ground. In either case, the reason a channel formed here is the ridge running across the image. Once fluid reached the top of this ridge, flow was concentrated there and carved a deeper channel.

Note: The upstream half of the channel is visible in PSP_008265_1860.

Written by: Colin Dundas (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (17 July 2013)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_040453_1860.
Acquisition date
30 May 2013

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
274.8 km (170.8 miles)

Original image scale range
27.7 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~83 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
37°, with the Sun about 53° above the horizon

Solar longitude
327.1°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  334.2°
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
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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.