Mass Wasting in a Southern Hemisphere Crater
Mass Wasting in a Southern Hemisphere Crater
PSP_005799_1505  Science Theme: Glacial/Periglacial Processes
This image shows an impact crater in the Southern Hemisphere of Mars with striking mass wasting features on the northern wall. (Mass wasting is the general term for a variety of processes in which rock or soil moves downhill).

Several dark, nearly continuous layers of rock ring the upper part of the crater slope. In the northern part of the layer, dark downslope striations can be seen even at low resolution. At the full resolution of HiRISE, these are comprised mostly of boulders. In several cases the striations descend directly from rocky outcrops, and they form due to rocks breaking and falling from the outcrops near the rim. This demonstrates the relative instability of the steep slopes of young craters; this is an important process in crater degradation. The dark streaks in this case may indicate particularly steep slopes.

Written by: Colin Dundas  (21 November 2007)
Acquisition date
22 October 2007

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
253.2 km (157.4 miles)

Original image scale range
25.3 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~76 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

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

Solar longitude
334.9°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  28.9°
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IRB color
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Merged IRB
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Merged RGB
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RGB color
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IRB color
map-projected   (443MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (447MB)
non-map           (496MB)

IRB color
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non-map           (406MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (205MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (210MB)

RGB color
non map           (401MB)
B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
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IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
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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.