Pits and Channels of Hebrus Valles
Pits and Channels of Hebrus Valles
ESP_048036_2025  Science Theme: Landscape Evolution
The drainages in this image are part of Hebrus Valles, an outflow channel system likely formed by catastrophic floods.

Hebrus Valles is located in the plains of the Northern Lowlands, just west of the Elysium volcanic region. Individual channels range from several hundred meters to several kilometers wide and form multi-threaded (anastamosing) patterns. Separating the channels are streamlined forms, whose tails point downstream and indicate that channel flow is to the north. The channels seemingly terminate in an elongated pit that is approximately 1875 meters long and 1125 meters wide. Using the shadow that the wall has cast on the floor of the pit, we can estimate that the pit is nearly 500 meters deep.

The pit, which formed after the channels, exposes a bouldery layer below the dusty surface mantle and is underlain by sediments. Boulders several meters in diameter litter the slopes down into the pit. Pits such as these are of interest as possible candidate landing sites for human exploration because they might retain subsurface water ice that could be utilized by future long-term human settlements.

Written by: Ginny Gulick (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (26 January 2017)
Acquisition date
25 October 2016

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
285.9 km (177.7 miles)

Original image scale range
57.2 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~172 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

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

Solar longitude
248.6°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  321.9°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (230MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (124MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (103MB)
non-map           (122MB)

IRB color
map projected  (42MB)
non-map           (121MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (239MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (220MB)

RGB color
non map           (115MB)

B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

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’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.