Layering in Upper Walls of Valles Marineris
Layering in Upper Walls of Valles Marineris
PSP_006006_1715  Science Theme: Geologic Contacts/Stratigraphy
This observation shows parts of the upper walls of Valles Marineris with layered rocks. These layers extend down to a smooth-appearing slope, that is likely material shed from the upper parts of the chasm walls; down-slope stripes are visible, indicating that material has fallen or slid downhill in a process termed "mass wasting."

The layers, exposed in most rock outcrops in this image, are most likely lava flows from flood lavas that once erupted across the region. These layers are located in the upper walls of most of Valles Marineris and are sometimes exposed at depths well below the surrounding plateau, recording extensive volcanism in the history of the region. Similar, thick successions of lava flows are found at some sites on Earth (for example, the Columbia River flood basalts in the northwest U.S.).

Written by: Colin Dundas  (5 December 2007)
Acquisition date
07 November 2007

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
261.5 km (162.6 miles)

Original image scale range
26.2 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~78 cm across are resolved

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25 cm/pixel and North is up

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Solar incidence angle
34°, with the Sun about 56° above the horizon

Solar longitude
343.5°, Northern Winter

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North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  5.4°
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