The Side of Chasma Boreale
The Side of Chasma Boreale
ESP_037056_2650  Science Theme: Climate Change
Chasma Boreale is the 560-kilometer long valley that cuts through the Northern Polar layered deposits of Mars.

The section that it exposes show fine scaled layering and a major unconformity, where the azimuth of the beds changes markedly. This is is characteristic of the polar layered deposits. The formation of the unconformity suggests a time when the lower sediments were being eroded rather than deposited. The cutout shows a roughly 4 x 4 kilometer area across the unconformity.

The polar layered deposits are weakly cemented rocks, and so lying over the scarps you can see lines of mass wasting where dust and sand size particles have slumped downhill. (This image is part of a stereo pair, and was in the late summer in the Northern Hemisphere of Mars.)

Comparing images like this to those taken in previous years and in different seasons allows a more accurate understanding of current surface processes on the Red Planet.

Written by: John Bridges (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (13 August 2014)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_036515_2650.
Acquisition date
22 June 2014

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
319.5 km (198.6 miles)

Original image scale range
33.4 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~100 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
74°, with the Sun about 16° above the horizon

Solar longitude
150.1°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  102°
Sub-solar azimuth:  323.5°
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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

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.