Complex Folded Terrain on the Floor of Hellas Basin
Complex Folded Terrain on the Floor of Hellas Basin
PSP_006133_1410  Science Theme: Glacial/Periglacial Processes
Hellas is the deepest impact basin on Mars and perhaps in the Solar System. It is usually difficult to image the floor of Hellas because of atmospheric hazes, but sometimes it clears, as when this image was acquired.

This image shows some of the most complex deformed terrain on Mars. Initially, flat continuous layers of sediment were probably deposited, perhaps in a sea or from air fall. Subsequently the layers were squeezed and deformed into the strange patterns visible here. The layers appear to have bent and flowed rather than just broken via faulting, perhaps because the sediments were wet or rich in ice.

Written by: Alfred McEwen  (12 December 2007)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_007056_1410.
Acquisition date
17 November 2007

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
260.8 km (162.1 miles)

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

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
47°, with the Sun about 43° above the horizon

Solar longitude
348.6°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  41.8°
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Full resolution JP2 download
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
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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.