Scarps in Deuteronilus Mensae
Scarps in Deuteronilus Mensae
PSP_006648_2255  Science Theme: Glacial/Periglacial Processes
This image shows scarps (steep slopes) in Deuteronilus Mensae, a region of distinctive terrain in the northern hemisphere of Mars.

Polygonal fractures, possibly formed by thermal cycles in ice-rich ground, are visible throughout the scene. The high-standing topography at the top of the scarps have several muted circles. These are remnant impact craters that have degraded throughout time. Their degradation process might have been enhanced by the presence of ground ice.

The two scarps have different morphologies. The right (east-facing) side has a debris apron with a wave-like texture at its base. This is suggestive of material that has moved down the scrap and gradually flowed away from it. Such a process would be expected if the material were ice-rich. There is no counterpart of this feature at the base of the left (west-facing) cliff side.

Written by: Kelly Kolb  (20 February 2008)
Acquisition date
27 December 2007

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
303.4 km (188.5 miles)

Original image scale range
60.6 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~182 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
51°, with the Sun about 39° above the horizon

Solar longitude
8.8°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  322.5°
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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.