At the Head of a Kasei Valles Cataract
At the Head of a Kasei Valles Cataract
ESP_039274_2055  Science Theme: Fluvial Processes
On Earth, cataracts represent regions where a river’s gradient increases enough to create so much turbulence, that air gets incorporated into the water body forming a bubbly current sometimes called “whitewater”. This image covers a location that may have acted as a cataract in the Kasei valley region.

This observation samples the bedrock lithologies and gives us a measure of the post-flood erosion and modification history for the floor of Kasei Valles. At high resolution, we can also look for boulders.

While there is a HiRISE stereo pair adjacent to this location that captures much of this cataract, it also misses some of the head scarp that might be the most useful, scientifically.

This caption is based on the original science rationale.

Written by: HiRISE Science Team (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (25 March 2015)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_003948_2055.
Acquisition date
12 December 2014

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
284.3 km (176.7 miles)

Original image scale range
28.7 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~86 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
68°, with the Sun about 22° above the horizon

Solar longitude
251.3°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  322.8°
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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.