South Polar Layered Deposits
South Polar Layered Deposits
PSP_004965_0980  Science Theme: Polar Geology
The polar layered deposits (PLD) are interesting because they were probably formed by global climate changes on Mars, like ice ages on Earth. The PLD are rich in water ice, but appear to be covered by a dusty layer that protects the underlying ice from evaporation and erosion.

The exposure of south polar layered deposits shown here also appears to be partly covered by additional debris, as layering is obscured at the left side of the subimage. The layers appear to have been offset by a fault near the lower right corner. The faulting and burial visible here complicates the interpretation of the climate history of Mars based on observations of layering.

Written by: Ken Herkenhoff  (26 December 2007)
Acquisition date
18 August 2007

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
245.6 km (152.6 miles)

Original image scale range
49.6 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~149 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
64°, with the Sun about 26° above the horizon

Solar longitude
297.7°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  113°
Sub-solar azimuth:  51.5°
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   (664MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (367MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (396MB)
non-map           (412MB)

IRB color
map projected  (244MB)
non-map           (392MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (751MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (732MB)

RGB color
non map           (401MB)
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

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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.