Finding Faults in Melas Chasma
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Finding Faults in Melas Chasma
ESP_034883_1645  Science Theme: Tectonic Processes
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Melas Chasma is part of the Valles Marineris canyon system, the largest canyon in the Solar System. It has been recently suggested that Melas Chasma may have been produced by an impact crater. To test this idea, HiRISE has been imaging surrounding small faults such as the ones seen in this image.

There are actually three faults in this image. The two trench-like features are called “graben” and are caused when the surface stretches apart and blocks of rock drop downwards. The third fault is the wavy ridge the cuts across both of the graben. This type of fault is sometimes called a “wrinkle ridge” and occurs when surface rocks are compressed causing one block of rock to be thrust up on top of another. So this area has been both stretched in the north-south direction and squeezed in the east-west direction.

With enough HiRISE images scientists hope to reconstruct the full history of this area and uncover the origin of one of Mars’ most spectacular features.

Written by: HiRISE Science Team  (19 February 2014)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_034817_1645.
 
Acquisition date
04 January 2014

Local Mars time
15:16

Latitude (centered)
-15.093°

Longitude (East)
288.816°

Spacecraft altitude
255.5 km (158.8 miles)

Original image scale range
51.7 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~155 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle
9.3°

Phase angle
55.6°

Solar incidence angle
62°, with the Sun about 28° above the horizon

Solar longitude
71.8°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  45.3°
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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/JPL/University of Arizona

POSTSCRIPT
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.