A Crater Superposed on Chaotic Terrain Near the Head of a Dao Vallis Branch
A Crater Superposed on Chaotic Terrain Near the Head of a Dao Vallis Branch
PSP_005881_1465  Science Theme: Fluvial Processes
This image features a crater at the head of Dao Vallis, one of the Martian outflow channels that drains into Hellas Basin.

The outflow channels are believed to have been sculpted by giant floods of ground water erupting from the subsurface. The crater has a series of ripples on the west side of its floor that likely formed when gravity made ice-rich material slide off the crater walls into the center.

There are several small craters visible on the larger crater’s floor. Some circular features that no longer have raised rims are probably relaxed craters. Relaxed craters are more evidence that this was once—and might still be—an ice-rich area.

Written by: Kelly Kolb  (25 June 2008)
Acquisition date
28 October 2007

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
255.3 km (158.6 miles)

Original image scale range
25.5 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~77 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

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Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
41°, with the Sun about 49° above the horizon

Solar longitude
338.3°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  34.2°
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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.