Anaglyph of the Basal Scarp of Olympus Mons Volcano
Anaglyph of the Basal Scarp of Olympus Mons Volcano
PSP_001630_2015  Science Theme: Volcanic Processes
Olympus Mons is the largest volcano in the Solar System. While it is known that it was constructed of lava flows, many aspects of this titanic volcano remain puzzling.

For example, the base of the volcano is marked by a steep scarp (cliff) that is up to 8000 meters (26,000 feet) tall. One idea is that the volcano is so large that it is falling apart under its own weight, such that the outer edges are collapsing in massive landslides.

By combining two HiRISE observations (PSP_001432_2015 and PSP_001630_2015), we can see an approximately 6 km (3.7 mile) wide portion of this scarp in three dimensions. The topography can be seen in this anaglyph by using red-blue glasses. The rugged topography at the edge of the scarp, with kilometer-scale pieces of the volcano pushed up or pulled apart, fits the idea that the lower part of Olympus Mons is riddled with faults.

However, this data covers only about 0.3% of the scarp, so more images will need to be studied to understand how Olympus Mons is gradually being destroyed.

Written by: Laszlo P. Keszthelyi  (17 January 2007)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_001432_2015.
Acquisition date
01 December 2006

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
281.5 km (174.9 miles)

Original image scale range
29.0 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~87 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
52°, with the Sun about 38° above the horizon

Solar longitude
143.7°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  7.5°
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   (595MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (275MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (249MB)
non-map           (298MB)

IRB color
map projected  (70MB)
non-map           (232MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (138MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (140MB)

RGB color
non map           (214MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

DTM details page

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/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.