Lava Flows from Pavonis Mons
Lava Flows from Pavonis Mons
PSP_007840_1800  Science Theme: Volcanic Processes
This image shows geologically young lava flows west of Pavonis Mons. Pavonis Mons is one of the three Tharsis Montes, a group of giant shield volcanoes (they are broad and have gentle slopes, like a shield).

The lava flows show up best in the reduced-scale browse images. Zooming in at full resolution, we see that this area is mantled by thick dust deposits that have been eroded into northwest-southeast trending landforms. These patterns are used by scientists to map what direction the strongest winds blow on average and how the direction changes through time.

We can also see long linear tracks that are lighter-toned than the surrounding surface, and bluer in color. These tracks are formed by dust devils that remove some of the surface dust. The older, compacted dust has a different color that the fresh dust. Notice that the dust devils did not move in the same direction as the predominant winds that streamlined the surface.

Written by: Alfred McEwen  (30 April 2008)
Acquisition date
29 March 2008

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
262.2 km (163.0 miles)

Original image scale range
52.5 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~157 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
48°, with the Sun about 42° above the horizon

Solar longitude
51.5°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  32.6°
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

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.