Clay Minerals in the Northwestern Bosporos Montes
Clay Minerals in the Northwestern Bosporos Montes
PSP_006625_1405  Science Theme: Composition and Photometry
The Bosporos Montes make up part of the rim of the giant Argyre impact basin on Mars. The Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer (CRISM) identified this as a location with clay minerals. Such minerals contain water and may have formed under conditions favorable for life.

This HiRISE image was taken to support the CRISM Team’s investigation of this area. While HiRISE does not have the ability to identify minerals the way CRISM can, the enhanced colors in this image are similar to those seen in other clay-containing parts of Mars.

The light-toned mesas and plains are crisscrossed with small fractures that could have formed as a muddy clay deposit dried. However, this material is strong enough to form boulders where it has been hit by impact craters.

Written by: Laszlo P. Kestay  (30 January 2008)
Acquisition date
25 December 2007

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
249.5 km (155.1 miles)

Original image scale range
from 25.2 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) to 50.5 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning)

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
55°, with the Sun about 35° above the horizon

Solar longitude
7.9°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  46.2°
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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’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.