A Complex Valley Network Near Idaeus Fossae
NASA/JPL/UArizona
A Complex Valley Network Near Idaeus Fossae
ESP_034948_2165  Science Theme: Fluvial Processes
Many valleys occur all over Mars that reveal an extensive ancient history of liquid water erosion. While these valley systems are typically now covered with fine soils and sand dunes, the overall scale and shape of the valleys reveals much about the ancient climate.

The speed, volume, and extent of the flowing water can be apparent from how it interacts with obstacles. For example, large volumes of rapidly flowing water may overtop obstacles rather than be diverted around them. Or, a small stream flowing for an extend period may gradually cut downward through hard rock obstacles.

In this case, the valleys cut through a small, kilometer size impact crater. As it did so, the flow appears to have divided it into as many as three streams and then coalesced as it exited the other side.



Written by: Mike Mellon (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (12 March 2014)
 
Acquisition date
09 January 2014

Local Mars time
15:00

Latitude (centered)
36.125°

Longitude (East)
306.108°

Spacecraft altitude
295.2 km (183.5 miles)

Original image scale range
59.5 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~179 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle
8.2°

Phase angle
48.7°

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

Solar longitude
74.0°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  2.3°
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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.