Boulders on a Landslide
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Boulders on a Landslide
ESP_035831_1760  Science Theme: 
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The striking feature in this image is a boulder-covered landslide along a canyon wall. Landslides occur when steep slopes fail, sending a mass of soil and rock to flow downhill, leaving behind a scarp at the top of the slope. The mass of material comes to rest when it reaches shallower slopes, forming a lobe of material that ends in a well-defined edge called a toe. (Take a look at the anaglyph to compare the steep cliff and landslide scarp to the relatively flat valley floor. )

This landslide is relatively fresh, as many individual boulders still stand out above the main deposit. Additionally, while several small impact craters are visible in the landslide lobe, they are smaller in size and fewer in number than those on the surrounding valley floor. The scarp itself also looks fresh compared to the rest of the cliff: it, too, has boulders, and more varied topography than the adjacent dusty terrain.

Just to the north of the landslide scarp is a similarly-shaped scar on the cliffside. However, there is no landslide material on the valley floor below it. The older landslide deposit has either been removed or buried, a further indicator of the relative youth of the bouldery landslide.

Written by: HiRISE Targeting Specialists (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (23 December 2015)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_036886_1760.
 
Acquisition date
19 March 2014

Local Mars time
15:22

Latitude (centered)
-4.091°

Longitude (East)
324.953°

Spacecraft altitude
266.8 km (165.8 miles)

Original image scale range
27.0 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~81 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle
4.9°

Phase angle
60.8°

Solar incidence angle
57°, with the Sun about 33° above the horizon

Solar longitude
104.4°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  38.8°
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
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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.